Station response to 'Trading Places'
Since Nightly News began its "Trading Places: Caring for Your Parents" on Monday, more than 2,500 viewers have shared their own personal stories about meeting the needs of their parents. Hundreds of the messages included photographs and some came with homemade videos. In addition, more than 1,000 viewers have e-mailed us, commenting on the series. This is a large response to an editorial project and a good indicator of widespread interest. Another is NBC station support for the stories.
If you watch KPNX in Phoenix, you’ll know that the station has joined Nightly News in focusing on the challenge of caring for aging parents with its own coverage. It has featured a series about morning anchor Tram Mai and her mother MinhSon, who is recovering from 11 surgeries in the past eight years, three of them related to breast cancer. MinhSon lives in California with her husband and son, but Tram does what she can to assist her mother long distance from Phoenix.
Based on the e-mail KPNX has received, reaction from viewers has been very positive. One good reason may be that Tram is someone from their own community that Phoenix viewers know well.
Nightly’s series has been successful, at least in part, because NBC stations across the country have joined us in this coverage. Scores of them have taken responsibility for making sure that their viewers know about the series. They’ve used the editorial content that we’ve supplied to introduce the series and provide additional information about the issues raised on Nightly.
In addition to KPNX, here's how other stations have offered a local perspective on care for aging mothers and fathers.
KFOR/Oklahoma City used its own anchors’ personal stories to explore aspects of elder care: a mother passing on to her son what she learned from caring for his grandmother; a family whose religious faith assists them in their caring for an 86-year-old grandmother; efforts by one family to spare their children the burden of caring for them; a father and son who work together (at the station) and their changing roles as they grow older.
KRNV/Reno, Nev., showcased senior communities in its area, resources for families available locally, and what seniors can do to stay healthy.
WMGT/Macon, Ga., recognizing that 14 percent of its local population is 65 years of age or older, did stories that included dealing with loneliness, legal issues, and home safety.
WEEK/Peoria, Ill., focused on services in central Illinois available to caregivers, telling the stories of how three families are coping with Alzheimer’s in its various stages.
This local involvement enriches the value of Nightly’s coverage to viewers. While Brian Williams and his colleagues explore stories like elder care on a national basis, the affiliate coverage puts hometown faces on the issues involved In some instances, and the stations provide specific information about services available in their communities, which is of immediate value to viewers.
We’re grateful for the help that the national broadcast has received from NBC stations this week, and we’re sure that their viewers are, too.
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