Fresco’s Citizen Journalists Fully Power Local News Station

Today’s media landscape presents many challenges to broadcast television, especially to stations in smaller markets. After 10 months of partnering with Coastal Television in Anchorage, Alaska, Fresco is excited to announce a new coverage model that is customized to the station’s needs.

Coastal Television faces many geographic and budgetary limitations to their reporting. They have a nationwide Nielsen DMA rank of 147 and are responsible for covering the entire state. The new deal allows Coastal’s newsroom to produce fully-packaged stories with multiple shots, including wide shots, close-ups, interviews, and more, all provided by Fresco’s user base of citizen journalists. Compared to the traditional news crew model, Coastal Television is able to net at least 30% savings while covering stories in a larger area.

“We’ve had a lot of success with Fresco but needed to find a way to progress from single user-submitted videos to full packages of content,” said Scott Centers, Chief Operating Officer at Coastal Television Broadcasting Company in Anchorage, Alaska. “The model that Fresco created for us allows the station to make far more assignments every day while staying within our budget. Eventually, with the exception of live content, all of our content will come from our viewers. They’ll have more influence over the news they watch than ever before.”

Fresco has been connecting people on the street to news organizations all over the country since early 2016. Available for iOS and Android, app users receive location-based dispatches from local or national newsrooms. They can submit photos or videos, which are then immediately vetted and curated by Fresco’s 24/7 content team and put directly into the hands of producers at local news stations. Users are compensated and credited for photos and videos that are used on air.

“It has been amazing to see Coastal Television embrace Fresco and make it an integral part of their newsroom,” said John H. Meyer, CEO of Fresco. “Alaska is a really unique market that has different challenges than urban stations, so we were excited to be able to create a model that fits its needs. It’s now possible for them to rely on Fresco every day for the majority of the content in their newscast.”

The new model can be deployed at other small-market stations to unburden them from the restrictions of having to cover wide areas with limited staff. Now, stations that rank lowest in their market can make significant strides without significant expenses—or even see cost savings while expanding coverage.