Jackie Coffin, Executive TV Producer

Why good news doesn’t stick in people’s minds

Interview by Raven McMurry

Jackie Coffin, KTMF executive producer at ABC Fox Montana, works with news reporter Joshua Robinson at the Missoula television station. Photo by Raven McMurry.

Q: Why did you become a local journalist?

A: I’ve always been interested in journalism, in storytelling and spreading information to people. I always feel excited in telling friends and family and anyone I meet about different stories and things going on. So I think journalism was a really natural career path.

Q: How do you get viewers to watch ABC Fox?

A: Mostly through social media and online. That’s really how we get people in some ways, and that’s where we have to be very present, to stay competitive, and to get people to our newscast and from our newscast to go into our website. So through Facebook Live to our websites to our Twitters, we’re reaching out to people on an online audience. So it’s from the way you meet people, to how you connect with them online, to the way you tease your product on air, where they’re already going to come looking for it.

Q: What’s the one thing you would want to tell your viewers about how local journalism works?

A: If I have one question from people over anything else, it’s, You guys only cover bad news, why don’t you cover good news?” And frequently what I tell them is, we do cover good news. They just don’t remember it as well, because it makes more sense to them, this awesome project idea versus a double murder. And even if the double murder is shorter in time on our newscast, it sticks in their head more versus good news, because good news makes sense to them and it’s something they would do.