In order to provide timely information on COVID-19 specifically for Northshore residents, the Southeastern Channel has begun airing a new weekly segment titled Northshore News Update: Coronavirus on the North Shore.
The new 15-minute update debuts each week on Friday at 4 p.m. and airs throughout the day every day of the week on the Southeastern Channel, which can be seen on Spectrum 199 cable throughout the Northshore for a potential viewing audience of 250,000 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston, and St. Helena parishes.
Live streaming of the 24-7 Southeastern Channel broadcast can also be seen on Roku and Apple TV along with thesoutheasternchannel.com, which offers video on demand of all episodes. The coronavirus update can also be accessed through Southeastern Channel accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
“With all of the broad and rapidly-changing news everywhere on the coronavirus, we wanted to provide Northshore viewers with a resource of timely and vital information specific to individual parishes that will address the most urgent needs,” said Rick Settoon, general manager of the Southeastern Channel. “This is a condensed segment spotlighting critical services for those in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston, and Washington parishes provided by their specific parish governments, school systems, hospitals, law enforcement, and business organizations.”
Information provided spans everything from COVID-19 testing and school food distribution to small business disaster loans. Also included are phone interviews with parish officials conducted by student reporters from the Southeastern Channel’s national award-winning newscast, Northshore News. Student reporters include Gabby Cox of Hammond, Lorraine Weiskopf of Covington, and Kaylee Normand and Chris Rosato of Mandeville.
Settoon said that since the student reporters are forced to work from home during the pandemic, and are thus unable to shoot interviews and footage to avoid face-to-face contact, their reports lean on phone interviews and graphics with timely information in the form of websites, phone numbers, URLs, and times and locations of the vital services provided in each parish.
“Our award-winning students are eager to tackle the challenge even while having to spend most of their time with online courses,” Settoon said. “They see this as a unique, real-world opportunity at a time of crisis using new technology and formats where they can really serve their community and viewers with critical news and information.”
In its 17 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national, international, and regional awards, including 17 awards from the Emmys.