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Live and Local, But is it News?

Dave Randall

Posted on February 28, 2019 14:12

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Spend a half hour with your Local TV News and see how much news you really get.

First, let me assure you, this is not to condemn the men and women, the journalists who anchor local newscasts, or the writers, producers and technicians who ply their trade in a pressure filled swirl of activity day after day, night after night. They do their jobs. I only want to point out what I've seen these local newscasts become. They're a bit like having a glazed donut for breakfast. There's little or no nutritional value in the donut, or in late night, local newscasts. Yet the sugar in that pastry is damned tasty, and those local newscasts are filled with everything research says you (specifically a 42 year old woman) crave, and just as sugary.

They begin with a swoosh of exciting graphics that assure news is breaking. In L.A., especially on the CBS owned stations (yes, since the late 90's there have been two), that means a police pursuit, a murder, a molestation, or some sort of sexual deviance to lure you in. Then a tease of why coffee, wine, bread or fad diets will either kill you or set you off on a euphoric state of revivification. Depends on the study. Depends on the week. And when it comes to that diet, the tease will be accompanied by B-roll of unsuspecting, zaftig persons, shot from the neck down, innocently shambling down the street, ice cream in hand, rolls of fatty tissue piled one upon the other, shifting with each step. I often wondered whether these poor people would be mortified to recognize themselves and their stretched tank-tops on these newscasts? 

That tease, by the way, will run before two commercial breaks before we find out whether caffeine is your friend or a wonder drug that will race your mind like a Ferrari engine...some twenty minutes after the subject was first broached. In between will be a story about doggies or kitties (mostly doggies), that are cute, but have been abandoned or abused. Heart strings are tugged, eyes grow misty, but is it really news? The data says the ladies want to know about the welfare of those animals, dammit!

In the midst of the wine and coffee studies, the pets and the perverts, a crusader-reporter will come on to bully yet another chubby guy, this time a city worker who takes longer than his half hour for lunch, in his city vehicle. Chubby guy schleps off into ignominy.

The eye-catching weather woman gives the forecast, sports is zipped through, then something else that will arouse curiosity is teased before more commercials and the sign off.

45 years ago, this same station had reporters at the state capitol, city hall, all local government; movies were reviewed, negatively and positively, and there was room for something called "depth."

TV replaced newspapers as the main source of news by 1963. The internet is replacing TV. My hope is that what we need to know, replaces what research says we want to know... and soon.

Dave Randall

Posted on February 28, 2019 14:12

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Source: News 3 LV

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) – Family

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