Bill Carey covers general assignment and political news for News 10 Now, Time Warner's 24-hour news channel dedicated to a 10,000-square-mile region of upstate New York.
The cable network covers the entire greater Syracuse, NY, area, as well as the Utica, Watertown, and Plattsburgh markets.
Time Warner launched the local news station in November 2003, making it one of eight in a franchise that includes sister stations in Austin, TX, Charlotte, NC, and Kansas City, MO.
In his 30-year career, Carey has served as news director for two of upstate New York's local radio stations, and as a senior reporter for two of Syracuse's network news channels. He has won two Emmys for his work.
PRWeek: How does News 10 Now, a new station, compare and compete with upstate New York's existing media outlets?
Bill Carey: Obviously the main sell is that any time you want to see the news, it's there, as opposed to the regular commercial stations, where you have to be there at 5, 5:30, 6, 11, or in the morning. So I think that's been one sell. The other sell is that we've been able to bring things live into homes on a more regular basis during the day as they're happening. In addition to that, [the advantage is] the factor of being there when the other folks aren't.
PRWeek: I'm sure you get PR pitches all the time. What do you look for? What makes a compelling story?
Carey: You have to sell me with the way you present it. It has to be interesting; it has to have some type of general interest level that we can see among our audience. If it's too narrow a focus, too back-room, too specialized, then it's probably not going to make it into the daily mix. There are often events or stories that would have been very interesting, but they're not sold properly in the individual release you receive. The full story isn't there that would be enough to draw people to the event. If you've got a story that needs to be told, and it's written in a way that's compelling, I think that you have cleared 80% of the hurdles in getting people to pay attention to it.
PRWeek: We've heard a lot about the declining trust in the news media. You've been in this business a long time - is this something that's been new in the past few years?
Carey: I don't think that it's anything new. I think the percentages vary from time to time depending on the events, where people tend to trust the media more than, say, their elected leaders, and then it switches back to trusting their elected officials more than the media - and back and forth that way.
PRWeek: Is it something that you feel in your day-to-day job when the numbers switch back and forth?
Carey: Not really. I think we're a lot like politicians in that people see a bias or a slanting of news by the media, but when it comes to their own media, there's a tendency to accept them a little bit more. In other words, if it's someone that you know, that you've become familiar with over the years, then it's less likely you're going to see them as what most people label as 'faceless media.' It's a function of day-to-day reporting, actually - you're out on the street. You're meeting everyday people. You're meeting elected officials. People are involved in stories, and that's where building some level of trust occurs.