…and the “local” news does not escape my scorn either.
This week, the local morning news broke into itself (or at least introduced the following story as somehow more important than the rest of the news) to tell us about a fire in Indiana which had disrupted local traffic for their rush hour.
I found myself wondering why this was more important to me than the accident on one of the local expressways that was going to directly impact my commute that came on a few minutes later. There is so much going on locally, why is it that the “local” news needs to break into itself to cover things that can in no way impact the local audience?
This is not to say that there isn’t important news that I need to know about that is not local, but with only seven minutes of content (repeated ad nauseum) over the entire two-hours of the local news cast, why talk about trivial things? The other day one of the local stations broke into their evening news to cover a car chase in Atlanta. It was bad enough when I was working in Los Angeles to discover that the local TV stations all broke into their regular scheduled programs to cover the local police chases. It was worse yet to see the amount of manpower that was being devoted to it. (Every local station tracks the chases using their news helicopters.) But it was mind-boggling to discover that the ratings numbers during these chases tend to be ungodly high.
That being the case, the fact that our local stations are now breaking into programming to cover police chases in other states is completely unbelievable! What has become of the news industry? How bad will news have to get before people start demanding better news?
Wherever you are today, I hope that you will speak-up, demand more news in your local newscasts!
Don Bergquist – August 15, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA