#whYwhYC: A new newscast for CBC Calgary
Rob Brown explains the comprehensive rethink of our television newscast
Reporters didn't have cellphones when I started in the news biz.
They were available (I may have grey hair but I'm not that old) but they were expensive.
My news director didn't see why reporters needed a portable digital device when they could fill their pockets with quarters for the payphone. That was less than 20 years ago.
Man, how things have changed — and fast.
These days, we call them "smart" phones and no news director would be dumb enough to take a pass on the technology.
They are essential to the newsgathering process. A reporter has the power of the internet in the palm of their hand. He or she has a broadcast quality camera, and the tools to share or stream news instantly.
If you're a news junkie, you can now get your fix 24/7. In fact, consumers now expect news content to be constantly updated.
Chances are you're reading this on your smartphone or tablet. After all, Calgary has a young and plugged-in population.
Up-to-date news app
CBC Calgary is very aware of your expectations. Take our news app, for example.
You're one touch away from what I think is the best online journalism in our city.
It's easily digestible, current and relevant.
The CBC is going where the news consumer is going by beefing up online news. It's a top priority.
The reality is that has resulted in some difficult decisions as the focus of our newsgathering shifts to digital first. That shift has led us to a comprehensive rethink of our television newscast.
Our key question: If Calgarians are so connected in this era of mobile news consumption, how can we enhance that experience on TV?
We think the answer is simple: focus less on the what and more on the why.
That smartphone has been keeping you up to speed with the news all day long, so by the time you sit down in front of the big screen, you probably have a pretty good idea of what's been going on.
So, instead of giving you what you already have, we're now offering what's often lacking in daily news coverage — context. Why events unfolded the way they did. Why decision makers went in a particular direction. Why Calgarians should care.
Ask any reporter and they'll tell you that explaining what happened is the easy part. Getting at why it happened is where the heavy lifting is done. They'll also tell you that "Why?" is their favourite question because it leads to the most interesting answers.
So starting today, and with that in mind, CBC Calgary News at 6 is asking "Why?" with a relentless focus on the issues that matter to Calgarians.
We call it: #whYwhYC
In 30 minutes, we promise to bring you in depth and smart discussion that will take you behind the day's headlines.
You'll hear from newsmakers, and from insightful Calgarians examining and exploring issues important to you like health, technology, your money and politics.
We are connected with our community, making programming decisions that reflect our city, its neighbourhoods and the people who live here.
We hope you'll tune in and take something of value away from this new newscast. And keep in mind, if you can't sit down at 6 every weeknight, you'll also find video clips from the broadcast on your digital device.
All of that local news content there in your pocket like all those quarters we carried years ago.
Just press play and find out — why. Ask CBC Calgary questions directly on social media with #whYwhYC.
You might have seen #whYwhYC written in red chalk on sidewalks around Calgary.
The markings were made with a temporary chalk mixture of water, cornstarch and chalk and were put together on a shoe-string budget. They have since been removed by CBC Calgary.