By Lynn Walsh | December 29th, 2011
by: Jacqueline A. Ingles
I have been working in TV news for nearly five years. And, while I do not believe TV news is a broken toy, I do think it is a toy that has been assembled without instructions— perhaps a few screws are missing or loose.
What do you mean by this you ask? Well, local television stations have a great deal of power to enter your living room or business on a daily basis and provide you with need to know information. In other words, the layout is there for greatness, but somehow, stations are taking the turnoff that leads to mediocre. I believe this is happening for the following reasons:
1) If it bleeds it leads: Almost all stations are quick to jump on crime. Nine times out of ten, if there is a crime that has occurred, this will take precedence over education reports, economic reports, etc. Sure, the crime may only impact a neighborhood, whereas the others stories reach thousands of people–it is the salacious nature of crime that pushes it to the top of the list. Now, do not get me wrong, if a serial killer is on the loose, by all means, let people know to be on the lookout. But, how many times do you hear about crime stories like a murder and there is no follow up? One day, the murder is covered and perhaps, if a news director thinks it is warranted, you will cover the funeral. Maybe. This motto has also given rise to niche journalism. Why should you have to wait through crime stories if your only interest is sports? That is why ESPN is likely to get to ESPN 50—they can cater to sports by state and still keep viewers coming.