Daily Archives: August 8, 2008

From the LAF mailbag

The writer is an old college buddy (Missouri ’79). He worked in TV news out of college. He’s now raking it in as a PR guy in Atlanta:

I find it hard to believe you’re as charitable about the industry as you make out to be on the blog. I think the TV news industry has gone to s**t in a handbag and local news is embarrassingly horrible. I can’t think of any good reason to watch…other than trying to get a traffic update just before I leave the house in the morning.

The name of your blog and the reasoning behind are both right on and sadly funny. What has happened? Before I left TV, I worked at two stations where we had policies AGAINST covering house fires and car wrecks unless they had a major impact on the area e.g. the interstate is shut down at 5pm or nuns are tossing babies from the third story while stamping out flames with dampened habits.

He’s mostly right, of course. There are a few good reasons to watch local TV news: Investigative reporting, coverage of major legitimate breaking news and weather. But there’s too little storytelling, and too much garbage to wade through before finding the gems.

And the trend has been to make it worse while pandering to viewers and cutting budgets. Will it ever turn around? Hate to answer that one.