NBC News officially launched Left Field, its new digital video news team tasked with creating content for platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The experimental unit will be “testing the creative limits of video journalism and cinematic storytelling,” according to a company statement.
“NBC Left Field is a new internationally-minded video troupe that makes short, creative documentaries and features specially designed for social media and set-top boxes. Our small team of cinematographers, journalists, animators and social media gurus aims to unearth stories and breathe creative life into current headlines. While pushing boundaries at home and abroad, NBC Left Field will also be serving as an experimental hub for NBC News style, treatment and audience engagement,” reads Left Field’s website.
About half of Left Field’s team will be from outside the U.S. According to Variety, former BBC journalist Matt Danzico will run the unit, and team members include former GQ editor Freddie Campion and former CNN producer Haimy Assefa.
Left Field’s video content will show up on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, as well as through set-top boxes. The team also set up a hotline so viewers can call in for additional audio content and give story leads to Left Field.
For NBC, the launch of entire news team dedicated to pushing content to digital and social platforms makes sense amid the broadcaster’s aggressive investments in digital media. Earlier this year, NBC made a $500 million strategic investment in Snap, the parent of Snapchat.
In a memo to employees obtained by Variety, NBCU CEO Steve Burke called the Snap investment part of the company’s strategy to invest in digital growth, which includes NBCU’s recent $400 million investment in BuzzFeed and $200 million investment in Vox.
“I am proud of the strides we have made in the digital space recently. With the Snap investment, we have invested over $1.5 billion in promising digital businesses in the last 18 months. Importantly, we have become a better, more digitally-focused company as a result,” wrote Burke in the memo.