05 September 2006

Local Stations Offer Poor Excuse for News

When I think of local news, I think of "cheese whiz", the processed compound that is not cheese but considered edible enough to put on store shelves. Cheese whiz is to cheese what local news is to real news.

A couple of examples from the past couple days:

Yesterday FOX19 televised a piece about the district 1 (Cranley vs. Chabot) election. The piece consisted of Chabot denigrating Cranley (i.e. the usual negative campaigning we've come to regard as normal). No questions were asked of Chabot. He was not asked to comment on an issue. There was absolutely no substance to his comments whatsoever. In fact, an uninformed viewer would not even be able to determine that Chabot was a member of Congress. His remarks were entirely devoid of anything relevant to government, policy or legislative affairs. Isn't the point of news to educate the uninformed viewer?

What FOX19 broadcast was not news, it was a video press release.

And speaking of press releases, WCPO has basically turned into a press release service. If WLWT is the worst local news, then WCPO has to be the laziest. This morning WCPO reported ("mentioned" is a better word) the decreasing price of gas and then immediately segued into telling viewers that Chrysler is offering special financing on most of its models.

News? Or advertising? It's getting hard to tell the difference.

And I'm not so sure it would really matter if we could tell the difference. Here's a list of the stories WCPO reported during one broadcast last week. How many of these stories do you consider important to your daily life? How many enhance your understanding of our city and region?

Local Bishop dies.
Man charged with murder.
Two people shot.
Driver sentenced in fatal accident.
KY lawyers suspended for poor accounting practices.
Progess in Comair negotiations.
Reds doing great.
Poll: Reds will make playoffs.
Anti-abortion group to fly banners.
Hamilton County has unclaimed funds.
Taste of Blue Ash festival.
Germania Society has Oktoberfest.
"Don't waste your money" segment.
School shooter held in mental health facility.
Tornado in Minnesota.
Oil tanker explodes in South Dakota.
Cincinnati is 16th drunkest city.
Marcus Fiesel still missing.
Two year old nearly drowns in Butler County-- local crew dispatched.

Ugh. Somebody get this taste out of my mouth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was there a time when local tv news was better? No. The old choice was between the garage fires on Al Schottlekotte and the "gee-whiz I can't believe this is happening" sludge Nick Clooney pushed. It doesn't help that there is no tradition of good print journalism here. It is all so depressing.