25 August 2009

Lead news story analysis

Yesterday I happened to be near a television at 5:00 to see that CBS2Chicago lead with the Michael Jackson homicide story. What I found interesting, appalling, but yet, not surprising is that the local anchors threw the coverage over to their source at Entertainment Tonight.

One COULD theorize that local news people just aren't going to have the insight or time to cover such a huge story and that by going to CBS/Viacom's experts (albeit a tabloid entertainment show), they are providing the raw coverage that is needed. OR one could say that this stuff is making Walter Cronkite spin in his nice and shiny new grave.

I just had to see what NBC5 and ABC7 were leading with and so my fingers moved quickly across the remote.

NBC lead with the final remnants of Hurricane Bill up the Canadian coast and ABC led with the local story about an Alderman's son-in-law getting murdered. NBC used stringer footage from some Canadian news agency and ABC was, well, local.

I know we have no control other than to stop watching so their ratings drop, but this isn't an argument about liberal media bias either. It's just crap management of a newsroom. CBS Chicago has been struggling mightily over the last couple of years (how they've stayed ahead of NBC is really staggering). You'd think the network that was driven by Don Hewitt would respect those roots since he TOO is freshly planted, but no.

HOWEVER, we all sit here and scream that we want integrity in the media, but yet, if they even SHOW that they have even an OUNCE it, they just get beaten to death in the ratings by the 24 hour stations and then the next level of TMZ/ET/E!/AccessHollywood. It's a no-win and we as viewers are just as much to blame. I don't know the answer, for if I did, I certainly wouldn't be working my day gig.

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