Berkshire Eagle partnership with local TV is something to Tout about


The folks at the Berkshire Eagle are heavy Tout users. For the past few months, they’ve been sharing their Touts with WNYT Channel 13, Albany’s largest television station, in a partnership that seems to be paying off for both newsrooms.

“We seized upon the opportunity to promote our stories and brand within this larger Albany market. We suggested they look at our Touts for the video aspect of our coverage,” said Kevin Moran, Regional VP of news for New England Newspapers, Inc.

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Moran explains how Touts are already a part of newsroom protocol at the Berkshire Eagle. ”The news, sports and features folks​ here at The Eagle have taken to Tout videos because they are providing that extra layer of informational texture — the real-life, ‘see it straight from the source or at the source’ visual impact — to their reporting. We’re also trying to embed as many of these Touts into related stories to add that video depth.”

When Pittsfield City Councilor Paul Capitanio was facing conspiracy charges this August, The Berkshire Eagle published a Tout of the councilor, and his wife, as they headed to the courthouse for their hearing.

The Tout video was an exclusive; the perfect perp-walk clip of Capitanio. WNYT quickly reached out to the Eagle to use the clip in their own news spot.

“They hadn’t heard of Tout, but were immediately impressed with the instantaneous nature of the video platform. And because our reporters are embedded within our community, we have the best short-form video reporting around. WNYT knows that,” said Moran.

Since then, WNYT Channel 13 has used multiple Touts from the Berkshire Eagle in their televised reports. Including this spot following rescue crews as they search for a missing swimmer in Berkshire County.

“Generally, we’ve found no reason to say no so far, and I cannot anticipate when or why we would. WNYT is cognizant of making sure that if we have an exclusive, they present it as such,” said Moran.

Attribution is an important part of the agreement. According to Moran, there are rules WNYT has to follow.

“When WNYT wants to use a clip off one of our Touts, they email for an OK. Indeed they keep The Berkshire Eagle watermark on the video and in a couple instances have also added a banner that says The Berkshire Eagle. We ask that they do a verbal direct to in the segment and we may ask that be changed in their banner to,” said Moran.

 So far, the partnership is a win-win for everyone involved.

“People still watch TV and The Eagle has found an ‘in’ with a major market traditional TV station through our Tout ​videos​, and we have a good relationship to be able to draw content from them as well — such as regional news stories or what have you — on our site​,” said Moran.

The Berkshire Eagle isn’t the first local news site to collaborate with a local TV station. What are some other best practices or encouraging examples of local news organizations working together to cover the community? What are some guidelines that need to be followed? Have your Touts or videos been embedded or picked up by other organizations? Tell us in the comments!

Simran Khosla

By Simran Khosla

Simran Khosla is a former Thunderdome intern. During her fall 2013 internship, she was a Graduate Student at NYU Journalism’s Studio 20 program, working to innovate online media. Prior to Thunderdome, Simran interned at various public radio stations, including WBEZ in Chicago. Originally from Bombay, India, Simran lived all over Asia prior to getting an undergraduate degree at Emory University in Atlanta. She likes data, designing, and doodles.

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