NBC’s “digital correspondent” makes air

Twice this week, NBC Nightly News has aired reports from Mara Schiavocampo, a 28-year-old solo journalist who’s just back from reporting in India. Hired last October, Schiavocampo’s primary responsibility is to produce content exclusively for the Web. But last night she was live on the set with Brian Williams, introducing her story about hair imports. And here’s the really interesting part: the story was a slightly different version of one she’d already filed online–a week earlier.

Schiavocampo tells mediabistro.com that’s all part of the plan.

It’s really cool that you have items that are Web exclusives that are intended for the Web that then the broadcast uses afterwards. I think that’s huge. That says a lot about what NBC thinks of the Web. Because its not just, “Let’s use the Web to repurpose stuff which is posted after it airs,” or it’s the stuff that wasn’t good enough for air. It really is to build its own thing there.

As a solo journalist who shoots and edits all of her own material, Schiavocampo says she can fly “under the radar” and get stories others would miss. “I get a lot of access because one woman with a camera is easily ignored, easily missed.” But she doesn’t operate entirely alone: Schiavocampo says she always contacts the global networking site Lightstalkers, which bills itself as a discussion tool for professional travelers and media workers. “I recommend them to everyone I ever talk to,” she says. “Just to have some back-ups in case something goes wrong, it gives you who to call on for help.”