Trending Story: Texas Reopens During Covid

by | Mar 3, 2021 | Megaphone Updates, Responsive Reporting | 0 comments

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By far, the most response we’ve ever received on a Megaphone.
— Cynthia Izaguirre, WFAA Evening Anchor

Newsrooms across the country use the Megaphone platform to instantly gauge popular opinion…and drive thousands of viewers to their website. By swiftly launching polls about controversial breaking news, viewers become part of the broadcast and drive the conversation on-air.

Normally, polls about national politics see the highest engagement.  During the COVID pandemic, however, poll questions about the government’s response at the state level (specifically about timelines around easing restrictions) have performed strongest.  

In our latest Trending Story, TV stations in the state of Texas deployed Megaphone to engage audiences around the recently announced decision to open the state during COVID-19.  Live polling gives expanded audiences a chance to share their thoughts; including feelings of frustration, anxiety, and alarm.

Audience Opinion Becomes Part of The News Cycle

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Our MegaStars at WFAA Dallas checked all the boxes for Interactive Storytelling. As soon as news broke that Governor Abbott was relaxing Covid restrictions around the state, WFAA led their 5pm Newscast with a poll asking, “How do you feel about Gov Abbott’s decision to end the statewide mask mandate?” Over 83,000 viewers participated in the Megaphone poll within the first 6 hours, voicing their opinion on an issue that directly impacts their lives and livelihood. As the story developed, the poll became an integral part of their coverage. The following day, WFAA pivoted by asking viewers a personal experience question: “Will you wear a mask when the mandate ends?”

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83,000 people here in North Texas have weighed in all-day. Clearly, some very, very heated opinions on both sides.
— Chris Lawrence, WFAA Evening Anchor