The threat at Northern Michigan University last year shook up more than just nerves. Here at TV6, it changed our understanding of broadcast news.
"The social media sites have become the news before the newscast," said Regena Robinson, News Director of TV6 and FOX UP. "It gives our viewers the opportunity to learn what's happening around them in a very efficient manner."
In just over a day, our Facebook fans tripled in size from 2,000 to 6,000 with anxious students and family members logging on to share updates.
"The whole goal of social media is to build community," explained Troy Parkins, Vice President of Market Operations at Barrington Broadcasting, which owns WLUC-TV.
"We don't just broadcast and push news out anymore. We get feedback from them. Social media, the Internet is allowing us to hear what people have to say."
In today's digital age, reporters and anchors have to do more than just listen. They need to interact.
"It gives us a chance to talk to them on a level we never really had before. It's taken down that last interactive wall," said Vicky Crystal, anchor of TV6 First Look and TV6 Morning News.
TV6 Morning News has over a thousand followers who can receive information in ways that precede even the conventional broadcast.
"While we're on the air, we're also on Twitter. We're constantly updating things that are happening," Crystal said.
A new format of storytelling was created specifically to cultivate the unique bond between the viewer and the media.
"The Facebook Story of the Day plays a very important role because it lets us know what's important to our community, what people are talking about, what they would like to know," Robinson said. "And it's very exciting because the community can determine what we cover by selecting a Facebook story choice."
Aside from the feedback, we regularly air videos and images from our viewers who capture news as it breaks.
Whether you interact with us here on a computer or in your hand on a mobile device, we hope to continue the conversation. Because the more we share, the better we can serve you as Upper Michigan's Source.