10 to Watch for 2012

Ted Nesi

Digital Reporter, WPRI



"There is no lack of news. You just need to get people that content in the way that they want to get it. Part of my job is to try to find ways to engage people who don’t pick up the newspaper.”

With newspapers in decline and traditional media scrambling to adapt to the new frontiers presented by the internet, many people wonder what the future of news reporting will be. It’s unlikely that there will be a single answer to that question, but Ted Nesi may just represent one of them. As WPRI’s Digital Reporter, he finds himself at a strange crossroads of media: he is essentially a print reporter producing content for the website of a television station.

“We didn’t have a rigid idea of how the job would work,” he recalls. “I was going to be covering primarily politics and the economy. Past that point it was really whatever works.” Which means he does everything from collaborating on an investigative story with on-air reporter Tim White, to offering commentary or analysis on a hot button issue with his “Nesi’s Notes” blog, to trading thoughts with his fellow panelists on the station’s weekly political roundtable, Newsmakers.

Last year, Politico, one of the most prominent sources of political journalism on the web, named Nesi one of the top four up-and-coming political bloggers in the country. The Washington Post cited “Nesi’s Notes” as one of the best state political blogs. And just as this was going to press, WPRI announced that it was promoting him from an occasional panelist on Newsmakers to a full-time position. His Twitter feed currently boasts over 1600 followers.

As we head into an election year, media outlets that are willing to cross platforms, like WPRI and Rhode Island Public Radio, are going to play an increasingly important role not only in providing analysis, but in breaking stories. In short, Nesi will be plenty busy. “I’m really not sure what the media landscape will look like in five years – particularly locally,” he notes. “I think you will see more jobs like mine if people in charge have the willingness to experiment.”

30-Second Bio:

• Grew up in Attleboro, MA.

• Was a reporter at the Attleboro Sun Chronicle and a reporter and web editor at Providence Business News.

• Twitter Handle: @tednesi

• His stories have been cited by the New York Times, Reuters, National Journal and Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call’s “Political Wire.” His undergraduate thesis paper on Ted Kennedy was cited in a recent biography of the late senator and his memoir.

• Has appeared on or contributed to Rhode Island Public Radio, WPRO, Rhode Island PBS, Time, the Providence Journal and PBS.org.

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