Local News Broadcasting Features: Why’s This So Good?

By: Rachel Ibanez

Tracy Barry, an award winning news anchor for KGW in Portland, did a feature story about ancestry.com. In this story, she sat down with a representative from ancestry.com and traced back her mother’s family history.

This story was a great success because it allowed viewers to take a peek into the personal life of a local “celebrity”. Giving viewers such a close look into Barry’s life let them relate to her and feel connected to her. The story also provided a nice break from the typical news stories that local stations tend to have multiple times a day.

Not only did the ancestry story make Barry very relatable, but her family’s history was very interesting. The 3 minute video pulled at the heart strings but it also had a little bit of a dramatic twist. Barry seemed genuinely shocked, and a little upset, when she found out that her grandmother’s husband seemingly left her with all of her children for another woman.

This feature story gave insight into Barry’s family and emotions. This is something that not all viewers get to see from their nightly news anchors. Many people believe that news programs provide bleak and somber stories, but this feature story was much different. While there was an undertone of sadness, Barry seemed very excited to have learned the unknown parts of her family’s past. The story was also a shameless advertisement for ancestry.com, but it was much different from a typical endorsement. In allowing a news anchor to participate, viewers saw the affects of the website from a trusted news anchor’s perspective.

Check out this great feature story here!


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