Warning #1: The headline on this attached link: “Local TV News Is A Waste Of Your Time” is a little (maybe a lot) misleading. More on that in a moment.
Warning #2: The research done for this sweeping analysis was done in … here’s the good part: Charleston, West Virginia!
The timing of the author’s screed is interesting. It comes during the same week that the recipients of the 2013 George Foster Peabody Awards were announced. If you’re not familiar, the Peabody is one of the most prestigious awards in journalism. And yes, they are handed out to local TV news operations. (DISCLOSURE: I am no longer in the local news biz, but the great team I worked with through most of last year is among this years’ recipients).
I won’t bore you with a long run — on what our station and others did to earn the accolades. But they were well deserved in the eyes of the judges. You can click the link below if you want to read more.
Suffice to say, local TV stations do cover fires. They do cover robberies. And yes they cover the weather. They do it because those items are news. No offense intended Mr. Ed — but local news is what local people are talking about. And if a local station didn’t cover the local fire, then the local people would wonder how it is that the local broadcasters are allowed to carry a license to run a local TV station.
Sure, the treatment of local news, at times, is questionable. But the same can be said for newspapers. Agree? Good.
Bravo too, on pulling a hackneyed quote from Newton Minow from May of 1961 (“vast wasteland”).
By the way, I did a a Google search for “investigative piece about Massey Mine Disaster” and just for fun, I added the name of the paper you write for. Guess what I found. (Queue the sound of crickets). Maybe I should have used Bing?
I guess, for me (and maybe for others), the bottom-line is this: Local TV news matters to local viewers. Can it be improved? Yep! And you’ll just have to take my word on this one; local news execs are working on that every day. Not unlike a newspaper, or a shoe store, or a restaurant, or a supermarket.
To suggest local TV news is a “colossal waste of time”, in my view seems irresponsible and short-sighted.
Peabody Link: http://tinyurl.com/c62s9ux