Tracking Innovation

WRVO hired Ryan Morden as its technology reporter under the programThe 21st century Upstate New York economy likely will be driven not by giant factories as much as by startups like the Web entrepreneurs and solar-panel manufacturers that WRVO’s Ryan Morden has interviewed as part of the Innovation Trail reporting project.

SUNY Oswego-based WRVO is one of five Upstate public broadcasting stations cooperating on the project through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The Innovation Trail follows Upstate's emphasis on technology, innovation and green jobs as its economic future. Or, as Morden quotes his editor on the project as saying: “Upstate has put a lot of its eggs in one basket, and we're counting the chickens.”

Working across the region, this initiative allows project-dedicated reporters to provide in-depth coverage with a high degree of community engagement and involvement.

Morden's stories focus more on how technology and innovation affect people's daily lives — not the gee-whiz latest-gizmo coverage one would see from traditional tech media. He is more likely to report on ways farmers employ the Internet, how residents of senior citizen complexes use technology to stay connected or how neighborhood groups use Facebook to promote a sense of community.

With many newspapers cutting back and other media consolidating operations or outsourcing news and programming to syndicated sources, a dedicated listener base and projects like the Innovation Trail have kept WRVO a key source of information and analysis for the Central Upstate region.

Photo: WRVO technology reporter Ryan Morden

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