Uncovered Capitol

If WGCL is really serious about becoming a big-time player in the Atlanta news market, you wouldn’t have known it from its 11pm newscast Friday. That was the final night of the 2008 legislative session. WGCL covered it with a thirty-second anchor reader. The other stations had live shots from reporters who’d been at the Capitol since the session opened that morning.

With its midnight deadline, its last-minute dealmaking and the “sine die!” paper-tossing climax, the final day of the session is always worth covering. This year, the issues were accessible to average Georgians. And the infighting among Republican leaders gave it a soap-opera quality that makes political reporters smile. That day, the other three stations showed footage of the always tightly-wound Speaker Glenn Richardson blaming Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle for inaction on tax cuts during a House-Senate conference. WGCL had zip.

During the session, WGCL’s Rebekka Schramm made periodic appearances in the House press room, as she has in previous years. This proves that the legislature is somewhere on the radar of the suits at WGCL. But their failure to cover the final day– the most substantive and theatrical day of the session– is a mystery. The only thing big-time about WGCL was the way it dropped the ball.

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Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

2 thoughts on “Uncovered Capitol

  1. Pingback: L’asperge politique «

  2. Justin

    First off, I want to thank you for creating this blog. It’s interesting to read about the local TV news business through the eyes of an insider no longer constrained by the business.

    I’m not completely surprised that WGCL dropped the ball on this one, considering how I’ve seen them fall short on other occasions.

    I wish WGCL would experiment with their newscasts again. I remember when they tried to do “positive” news, I think around the time they switched their call letters. I figured that would flop, but at least they tried something different. It’s not like they have much to lose! I’d like them to try doing real quality newscasts and avoid the car wrecks and apartment fires. Sure, it might flop, but I would love to see a TV station discard the hype and false drama for stories with substance. Also drop the national and international news and all the alligators in pools and cats stuck in walls stories. I know news stations have their reasons for those things, but WGCL should be brave, and take a risk.


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