Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Editorial Meetings

Wonder what goes on in a TV news meeting - deciding what to cover? The saddest thing to watch is reporters whose job it is to come to the meetings with story ideas get ignored by people who are worried about the cute, the bad and the ugly stories they hope to come.

Good ideas die like dogs because news managers first responsibility is what can be promoted, not what people might want to know more about, or need to know about.

Thus today, the big stories were a mix of national stories (Utah search), breaking news (traffic accident), the two headed cat dying, drownings and the theft at Washington Sq.. Where were the stories about the school funding proposal in Salem that might cost Portlanders more tax money, or new hope for Alzheimer's patients (and families)?

Assignment editors in town used to look for stories that played to the strength of the staff (and to prominent reporters). Now, they are ambulance chasers and skanner freaks.

What's the morning meeting like in your newsroom?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There needs to be a mixture of stories.
Yes, the Salem meltdown re: education needs to be covered. But be aware that your average viewer will tune out that type of story if it lasts much longer than 1:30.
They want to see movement on the screen, action, pathos, something that will get their attention.
At the end of the newscast, most of the viewers will remember the two-headed cat story, not the legislature-education story.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 9:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it my imagination, or did I see a big Channel 6 screwup on the missing boy stories? Didn't they say at noon that the Salem boy had been found...when in fact it was the Utah Cub Scout?

The lack of coverage of the legislature pinpoints a critical failing of our television news stations. What's happening down there will affect every family in the state; school districts are already making plans based on a guess. Yet you'd think, from watching the local news, that our biggest issue is meth. That's pretty big, but not like what's happening to our schools. It just takes more skill to tell that story than we have seen on our local TV.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 9:35:00 PM  
Blogger Kari Chisholm said...

"Local News." Too often, it's not local and it's not news.

Seriously, a missing Cub Scout in Utah? Are they kidding? Has the hunt for the next Laci Petersen gotten that hard?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 9:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes first poster... but don't you think they'd remember if their taxes went up or down? The problem is too many TV news people believe the 1:30 rule. Who timed 'em? Take your audience seriously and then your audience will reciprocate.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 10:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The viewers will tune out a legislature story if it's done the way we have been doing em...lazy, quick, and with reporters, and producers who don't care. Tell a good story, tell me why I should care, and people will watch. Give me some background, so I know the characters.
Follow the sroey over time so i am not lost. Maybe it's not the lead, but leave the two headed cat to entertainment tonite.
People may remember the cat story, but they also think, TV news is not relevent to me, and that two headed cat story... I got better things to do with my time. And I don't think movement is what gets their attention...content does. T

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our shop, it's not the assignment editors that decide, it's the producers. And unfortunately, most of them are young and single and so care more about a two headed cat than Salem. it hurts their heads to think about how can they tease that.k

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Where were the stories about the school funding proposal in Salem that might cost Portlanders more tax money"

There weren't any because it won't.

Minnis's proposal proports to provide stable, predictable school funding (but not adequate according to her critics)AND Portlander's taxes would actually go down this November. Throw in that Lars has been denouncing the proposal for days (which puts him squarely in the Dems camp on this) and one might think, "hey, that's a story worth reporting."


Tuesday, June 21, 2005 10:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

exactly... so many government stories are crap because they never amount to ANYTHING. When they go ahead and pass something and the Governor signs it.. and if it effects my life then report it.. otherwise, don't waste my time on buearocratic BS that won't see the light of day. Oh, but if you don't report on it till it happens how can the citizenry get involved to stop it. Give me a freakin break. Repeal is the only thing that gets the electorate moving and then only rarely.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it is true that producers stack the shows, don't think for one minute they don't have an EP or ND breathing down their neck. It all starts with the morning meeting and the story selection process.

Breaking news almost always takes priority, regardless of significance, when it occurs less than an hour before the next newscast.

Having spent a great deal of time in Salem covering politics over the years--and I can assure you that today's news managers rarely consider legislative stories significant unless they tie into meth, increased taxation, or some issue that relates to a current hot topic or one that is easily visualized.

Only KATU staffs a Salem bureau with a full-time TV crew, although Eric Mason covers more non-capitol stories that legislative issues.

When he left six years ago, KGW didn't replace Tom Fuller with a Salem-based capitol reporter. Now they send one of several reporters like John Becker, Joe Smith, Vince Patton or Dave Northfield. Once in while even Pat Dooris makes an appearance.

KOIN sends Mike Donahue to the Capitol when there is a story of interest, but KPTV hasn't covered the Oregon legislature on more than a handful of occasions during the past five sessions.

With the exception of KEX and CPRO, there is virtually no daily on-scene coverage of the legislature by radio. Most of the clips we hear are recorded from the Legislative Media Service which feeds Comcast and other cable tv systems. While it's an efficient way to get actualities, it is lazy, and can result in incomplete reporting.

If news consumers want to really understand what is going on in Salem, they will need to read newspapers or websites.

Given the relatively meager appetite for legislative news, it may not make sense for Portland broadcasters to have a full-time presence in Salem-- but when it comes time to provide background, perspective and analysis of many legislative issues, most TV and radio reporters will have to get it from the print media.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 1:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is relatively little interest in what happens in the legislature, why does KEX have a fulltime Salem bureau chief?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These posts pretty much explain why I rarely watch local news. Having been a news producer in another market, I understand. By the way, the consultants are wrong. People will watch a good 2 min, 3 min, 5 min, or 10 minute story.
I think there is a pod farm someplace where they grow local news people. They're the same all over. Wrong.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 6:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it the consultants who tell newsrooms that I won't watch a legislative story over 1:30? Is it the consultants who tell newsrooms I'm more interested in the two-headed cat? I've wondered who was dumbing down my TV news to the point I can't watch. I will watch a longer story, as I watch news on PBS. I need information about what lawmakers are doing and how laws, after they've passed and not while they're being debated, will affect me. Does anyone cover local city councils or school boards anymore? Does anyone have "sources" in local government to help them break stories? Too many stories about somebody getting beat up on a MAX platform depress me. Too many 'please be safe while swimming" stories after a drowning or two are staples year after year after year. Newsrooms just love it.
"It's interesting when people die." Just how true is that song?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 8:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being given the privilage of using the public airwaves do any of these people contolling the flow of information feel a certain responsiblity to actually COVER news? or is it all about rating?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 8:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night.

KPTV's 10 O' Clock News 8.3 16
PBS Newshour 2.0 4

If the ratings were reversed, I guarantee you'd see more legislative, 3 minute pieces by EVERY station.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 8:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or better yet, KPTV using that audience to educate rather than scare. This is an audience that comes from lead in, not desire to "learn what happened today."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have access to an aircheck of a newscast from 20 years ago.. I'd love to see a side by side comparison of all the stories and lengths covered in a newscast back in 1985 compared to 2005. Were the good ol' days really as good as we'd like to think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lead in argument with KPTV is not true. There is more tune in to KPTV than any other station by far. KPTV knows what its viewers want and they have a clear identity. What's wrong with leaving government stories about nothing to KATU.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A little Cub Scout, 1000 miles away from the closest viewer and unknown to everyone but his family and friends, is missing in UTAH!"

Now I remember why I left TV News.

As someone who ran the morning meeting at your favorite Puddletown TV and radio stations, let me say that wallpapering the Oregonian is no fun. No fun at all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Bill Norton said...

anonymous 1:15 says - With the exception of KEX and CPRO, there is virtually no daily on-scene coverage of the legislature by radio.

OPB's Colin Fogarty is at the Capitol everyday during the legislative session. Some of the best state government coverage around too in my opinion.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Education Professional said...

KATU staffs a Salem bureau, which is better than all the rest are doing, but none of the network affiliated news teams do a very good job of investigating, paying attention to or describing the significance of what goes on in the Legislature or how it impacts or potentially impacts the people of Oregon.

You know who puts in a pretty solid effort and generally tries to pay attention? NPR Morning Edition and the afternoon show too. Obviously the point that can easily and correctly be made about NPR is that they're striving to reach a different audience. From what I know about their demographics though, aren't they consistently reaching a pretty highly coveted audience? Maybe if some of the "big heads" at the local broadcast news shops tried to find out why NPR's Morning Edition and afternoon audience is tuning in so consistently and adopted some similar practices and policies their audiences might begin growing too.

I recognize that "jazzing up" presentations concerning issues under debate in the Legislature is far more difficult than looking for the latest crime scene, but what about the "big picture"? A crime story, while inherently more dramatic and potentially far simpler to report, doesn't have nearly the same relevance or potential to impact everyone in the entire state the way many of the issues the Legislature debates will. I don't mean to minimize the impact criminal acts continue to have upon the community, state and individual victims of crime, but wish to point out that the amount of time local news agencies are spending covering crime and associated pattens of criminal behavior is greatly out of proportion to their actual importance within the larger context of the world we live in.

I guess to put it in perspective, it's essentially the equivalent of the "O" moving their Sports coverage to the A section of the newspaper and combining the International, National and local news sections with the weekly Science section. Extrapolating this supposition leads one to be able to conclude that under the suggested reformatted newpaper layout readers would still be able to find "hard news", but that it would essentially be deemphasized in favor of topics and issues perceived to be more in demand by readership and less difficult to report.

"Reporting live from the scene..." What purpose does this serve? How does a reporter's physical presence in front of a middle school in Albany at ten o'clock at night "inform" the viewer in a way that enables them to gain a greater understanding of the significance of the event or issue being reported? I don't get it. This happens all the time and I always feel sorry for the poor schlubs who get dispatched to places like Albany, Yamhill, Welches, etc just so they can introduce their report live on camera at ten o'clock or eleven thirty for 30 seconds from some remote location. Does this really make a difference? Do reporters look forward to these assignments?

Can't leave this topic without bringing up the annual pilgrimmage to Troutdale that follows the first reports of snowy, icy weather or freezing rain that usually seems to wind up with the most junior or newest member of most station's news team every winter. These poor people are exiled out there at the stupid truck stop reporting in once or twice an hour during the "weather event", always bringing us another new story of some poor truck driver from Miami or New Orleans who's never been caught in anything like what's presently occuring in Troutdale. It's hard to know who to feel more sorry for, the truck driver who's been stuck at the truck stop for two or three days or the reporter who looks like they haven't eaten or slept in days.

This annual occurrence has taken on the same comical significance as the old Superbowl statistic they used to always trot out after the first team scored. You know how it went, "...the team scoring first has won 19 of the previous 22 Superbowls Steve", "Well Joe, since Miami just scored a safety Chicago's not off to a very good start." Thankfully the networks realized about 10 or 12 years ago that this statistic was less and less relevant and becoming an opportunity for everyone in the viewing audience to begin deriding all aspects of the whole overblown situation, so they quit paying attention to it. For some reason I don't have very high hopes that local news directors or producers will abandon anytime soon the "guaranteed for television environment" they have counted on for so many years when the weather gets dicey in the winter in Troutdale.

Another "practice" among local broadcast news agencies I've picked up on over the years are the eerie similarities I find in the morning edition of the "O" and the five o'clock local news broadcasts. It appears to me that the local broadcast news agencies basically scan the headlines in the Oregonian and essentially use those stories as "leads" which by five o'clock in the afternoon have been livened up with live action and an on scene reporter "bookended" at the start and end of each piece. I find that at least 50% of most of the daily "news" that is presented in local news broadcasts can be traced back to the Oregonian's morning edition. If the weather report is subtracted out(I figure it is 20 to 25% of the broadcast), then it's probably not far off to guesstimate that only about
20 to 25% of daily content originates or is generated by the news gathering agents at local television stations. If I only had to contribute 20 to 25% of originality to the duties and responsibilities I'm tasked with I'd be far more effective than I am.

Maybe I'm only pointing out the obvious, but I wonder how the local print media professionals at the "O", Trib, WW and other newspapers feel about this practice? In my line of work we have a word for this kind of behavior, it's called plagiarism.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This series of comments is a prime example of what's wrong with tv, radio and print news in this town.
Everyone talks to everyone else in their shop and knows their feelings, likes and dislikes. But they have no clue about most of their viewers think and feel. The guy who just got home from roofing a house or the woman who just finished her shift as a waitress and is watching while she feeds the kids.
They want to know what happened today.
They don't, for the most part, have college degrees and the training to dig for information.
If you try to educate them you will lose them and you will be educating a very small audience.
Yes, "you" will watch a 5 minute story on the legislature. But "you" are not eating breakfast, cooking dinner or playing with the kids while the tv is on in the background. They already have "your" attention and do not have to have interesting information or pictures to get it and hold it for as long as they can.
On another subject, if you don't understand the reason for live intros to stories, you haven't a clue about tv news.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole problem with News is that it is a business, a profit-making venture, rather than an exercise in journalism. Once news is put into that context,it can never be anything other than a tool of station owners to make money.
A long time ago, when I first went to work in TV, a veteran reporter said to me, "You know, we're all just whores." He was right. He continues to be right. And anybody working in commercial TV who doesn't think that's true, is deluding themselves.
It doesn't mean that some of us don't take our jobs seriously, it just means that station owners don't give a shit how good our journalism is if people don't watch.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous education professional said...

As is obvious, I am not someone who works or has worked in the industry.

As for not understanding the value of live intros to news stories, it would be nice to learn the significance of what appears to be rather inconsequential to the overall message or content being communicated from a reporter reporting live from the site of some fairly routine events. Clearly if there is an event or situation that warrants on the scene reporting like a rally at the state capitol or a demobilization ceremony for returning National Guard soldiers to offer two examples, then news agencies should station people live at these events, but I think it gets a little carried away when every reporter reports from whatever location they travelled to for a story. If the intent is to communicate that whatever event or situation that is being reported from a remote location is serious and should be paid attention to then I think that's misleading.

Some things are more important than others, but if everything is reported and treated in the same manner, it all tends to run together and the overall effect is that nothing ever really stands out because everything is emphasized as being equally important by those charged with gathering and reporting the news. I guess an argument can be made that the sequencing of stories within the broadcast is a way of emphasizing importance or perceived importance, but it just seems silly sometimes to see a reporter at a remote site reporting on something that really doesn't appear to be that important.

If someone can explain why all the remote reporting is really essential, I'd appreciate hearing from someone who knows so I can develop a fuller understanding and appreciation for local broadcast journalists.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, surveys tell us what people will watch, but they never tells why they won't. I always work on a huge assumption based on attention span, content areas, etc., but no-one bothers to ask - when a local governing body considers something that may alter my life (zoning, taxes, fees, etc.), how would they like that communicated. Otherwise its just us thinking there are dumb people who want to see today's fires, traffic accidents, crimes and pedophiles.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous education professional said...

That's sad, but you're right.

Would still like to know why every story is accompanied by live remote intros and summaries from reporters though.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Former Viewer said...

Given that news audiences are shrinking, you'd think they'd be broadening coverage by surveying viewers on what Anonymous 12:48 pm mentions. How do they want to be communicted with on important public policy issues?

Another observation. Given the lack of street smarts and education that TV people have today, I doubt there's many around who could cover a public policy story and make it interesting. Seems they're more interested in how they look on a live shot than true information gathering and reporting.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 1:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those intros are important because it makes the station appear as though they are everywhere, and therefore informed "experts" in covering the news regionally. It's all about appearances, and has nothing to do with reality. It's a cheap way to try and get viewers in Albany or Yamhill and increase the stations ratings. There is NO true journalistic reason.

Plus, those intros validate the story as being a TV story. If there's not a picture it's not valid news as far as TV journalism is concerned.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 1:32:00 PM  
Anonymous educational professional said...

Thanks for taking a minute to address my questions about the remote intros.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 1:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone taking bets here: Tom Potter just handed out his bureau assignments. Will this make tonights broadcasts, or will it be "too hard to explain" because it's not really a picture story.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 1:52:00 PM  
Blogger The One True b!X said...

Will this make tonights broadcasts, or will it be "too hard to explain" because it's not really a picture story.

That depends -- were there any good facial reactions from Leonard when Potter gave him the Water Bureau?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 2:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no criticism of the local channels covering the missing boy in Utah. But I do have a problem with KGW's lead story last night about hazing at LO High School. Ridiculous story. Who cares? What next? Teens have a party while parents are out of town. Gasp! That should be "Breaking News". I am often stumped by what is considered "news" in this town.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 2:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A-1:32 said, "It's a cheap way to try and get viewers in Albany or Yamhill and increase the stations ratings. There is NO true journalistic reason."

It that cheap as in cost effective, or cheap as in "cheap shot"? I can hardly imagine live remotes are cost effective. Every time I see one of those remote trucks on the road, I wonder how much money has been sunk into them to aquire about 60 seconds of video each day. How far could that money go if it were spent instead on salaries for more reporters out in field offices?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 3:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Simp said...

Anonymous said...
Last night.

KPTV's 10 O' Clock News 8.3 16
PBS Newshour 2.0 4

Now I just may be a dumb, hick media consumer, but wouldn't a ratings comparison be a bit more relevant if you compared shows that actually aired in, oh say....the same time slot?

Using the same reasoning I could construct an argument of how people would probably be happier tuning into either "Entertainment Tonight" or "Inside Edition" (they are "news" programing.. right? :P ) rather than KPTV news.

BTW: Thanks for the laugh b!x :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 3:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting to hear so many people want to hear about what the legislature and Gov. do only after it becomes law.

If the news doesn't cover what is being debated before it becomes law, how is an informed and participatory public supposed to contact their REPRESENTATIVES? These people aren't elected or re-elected every 2-4 years and then get a thumbs up or down come election time. They hopefully receive e-mails and calls on pending issues and try to make decisions accordingly, or at least answer why or why not.

I'm no Pollyanna here, I know most people don't pay attention, but perhaps it's a chicken/egg thing.... does the public not participate because they are apathetic and therefore the news doesn't cover the legislature, or do a handful of news directors decide what is news, leaving the public uninformed, leading to apathy.

Think about it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 4:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really doesn't matter if people see laws that are still being debated before they pass, so they can contact representatives. One, all the campaign money comes from special interests out of district, and two, many of the representatives are on "safe district" life support, they'll keep getting re-elected no matter how terrible they are unless the party or special interest groups withdraw support.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 4:48:00 PM  
Blogger PDXMediaWatcher said...

I have to say this is exactly what I was hoping when I started this thread. There are lots of why and why not comments, so wishes that for most broadcasters would never be considered, sadly. But it gets people talking. There was some resistance here, and the usual KPTV reporter (or manager) looking to toot that station's horn.

Last week someone asked for an open thread day. Let's call it Open Thread Thursday. Suggestions for tomorrow?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inside Edition 2.6
Entertainment Tonight 7.1..

SIMP, your point is well taken, but I think you can make ratings comparisons across time zones especially if the number of viewers watching in each compared hour is equal. I only used KPTV as an example because most on here seem to think it has the worst journalism has to offer and PBS the best. I'm no big fan of either. And yes, the number of people watching all stations from 7-8 was slightly larger than the number of people watching from 10-11.

Sadly, news is a business. It's been moving that way ever since CBS realized it could make money with its network news product. I think the ideal is to find a balance with what pays the bills and keeps everyone employed // and educating and informing the public. I'm not too optimistic about the latter having seen many failed experiments of newscasts in other markets taking the big J approach only to fall flat on their face in the ratings. So they have a great product for two or three years and then everyone is tossed out.

People say they want in depth stories.. they want think pieces.. they want to be educated. But the fact is people also tell us what they want by what they watch every night.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan DeWitt said...

"But the fact is people also tell us what they want by what they watch every night."

Yeah, it's news.google.com. Feel better now that you know? :-)

Y'all are not in the same competitive environment that you were in five, ten, or twenty years ago. People have more choices, and they're voting with their feet. (Or thumbs?) TV news is not winning. Seems to me you folks need to do more than fight among yourselves for the top spot on the sinking ship. I don't have a lot of solutions for you, but I can say that you folks had best get creative about adapting your news and business models to the new environment before you move from threatened to endangered.

Here's a suggestion: Produce longer, more informative stories. Play short versions or excerpts of them on the evening news, and direct people to a pay-as-you-go website to download or stream the advert-free long version. (In addition, broadcast them in full during the wee hours so people can grab 'em with tivo, and embed sold advertising in that free version.)

Or, as a marketing type might put it, optimize resources by creating synergies between your core competencies and emerging technologies. (Too bad I'm not a consultant... I probably coulda billed a station $5,000 for that sentence.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 6:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Simp said...

Thanks for the clarification.

Alas, I do agree with your original point. Newshour is probably too dry for most (though outside of weather it is just about the only TV news I watch).

I'm curious aobut the demographic break down of both time slots. Is this ever considered a factor or is it pretty much total viewership?

I really do believe that the state legislature can be covered in a way to make it compelling. In its current state, even I think it just all sounds the same.

There is a huge disconnect between decisions made at the state or local level and how it actually affects people. I don't know how to break the barrier with people when all they see is "IF A, then B."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 7:52:00 PM  
Anonymous education professional said...

If technological innovations continue to enhance and speed consumer's access to information, aren't traditional local news gathering and reporting agencies bound to continue to lose constituents?

Seems to me that unless measures are taken to restore credibility and relevance to the local news organizations, their agents and the content of their broadcasts, people will continue to pay less and less attention due to the widespread availability of alternative sources of information on demand that are increasingly available to most anyone on earth anytime of the day or night.

Would be interesting to see audience demographics broken out by age and gender. I believe market research would show that the highest percentage of viewership for local broadcast news programming comes from the over 40 crowd, and that people age 32 and under are the least likely to tune in on a regular basis and most likely to identify alternative media, like blogs or other internet sources as their primary means of learning of current and world events.

The problem with that supposition if there is indeed any truth to it, is that the largest and most loyal segment of the local broadcast news audience is also the oldest, and will eventually have to stop watching. What do you do then?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 8:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more attempt at explaining live shots.
They are there to sell the product as the top quality product in the field.
They are telling the viewer this is the very latest information and we are here live, where it happened, to make sure you get it.
Notice viewers that we are out in the field. We do not simply sit in a newsroom making phone calls and writing on our computers, we go the the source for our information.
If you want your news the be the latest and best, we are here to give that to you.

As for live tags on the end.
Push the story to the next newscast so the viewer will stay tuned.
This is what we will have for you coming up. We're here live so we can get this information and pass it on to you so stay right where you are.
Or it may just be a simple way to add a little information that did not make it into the packaged report.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 8:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why no stories of depth and public interest?
Because many reporters aren't interested. They are into being on TV, but the true "news geeks' are harder and harder to find. There's no passion for public interest news, and no curiosity. We've lost the passion, and the viewers know it.
In our morning meetings very few people say "Why is that?" "How can that happen?" "Could that be me?" 'What's next on that?" We just wait for the Oregonian and then put their story to pictures.
If we are to do public interest, or legislative stories, we need to break them, be first, introduce different people, and be ahead of the game.
Again, just for fun, why not put some of those 'boring" stories in the bottom of the casst, instead of the two faced cats, just for the fact that we are supposed to bring people news, not just make money. We have been given the privelege of making money in part for doing public interest.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Producers don't make the call in our shop; it's the News Director, the same guy/gal whose narrow-sighted motivation consists of, "if the ratings go down, it'll be my job that goes first!"

Hmmmm. Do I really care about her/his job security?

He/She absolutely ignores politics without offering any explanation. Reporters used to pitch political stories that affect people frequently. After being shot down so many times, few even try any more.
Political coverage, no matter how relevant, doesn't fit the consultant's "research" that claims viewers WANT more crime news.

When you sell out to consultants you sell out the viewers best interest.
But it's not the public we're serving any more.
It's all about attracting eyeballs using FEAR as much as possible in every promo and tease.

It's so predictable, it's funny.
And it's why Jon Stewart is so popular; he skewers us with our stupidity - and does it smartly.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank god someone out there in the biz, anon 10:27, realizes Stewart is not skewering politicians, he's skewering the newspeople. Watching Begala and Carlson interview him that one time on Crossfire was astonishing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Simp said...

I watch the Daily Show... daily :)

It's absolutely brilliant and yes, most of Stewart's issue is with the media, but he does skewer politicians as well.

If you can, check out last Tuesday's show.

re: Anon@9:32
Great point. It feels as though most reporters are more interested in trying sound dramatic rather than simply being interested.

Passion for doing your job just oozes through. I think this is one of the reason's that Mark Nelson became so popular so quickly. His passion talking about weather was obvious. Same goes for Zaffino.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because of the substantial financial investment required, most most people who would be so inclined will never be able to create an effective local TV newscast that would be able to compete with commercial stations. As technology changes it may be possible for someone with funding and motivation to find ways to emulate a local TV newscast over the internet or on cable, but currently that would be difficult.

It is entirely conceivable that within five or ten years, only one or two stations in Portland will still be producing traditional local newscasts, if the market continues to diminish. As more viewers hook up to cable, satellite or internet, over-the-air broadcasting will become insignificant. A license to operate in the public interest won't even be necessary, witness CNN, Fox News, CNBC, and others who take there product directly to the viewers without the formality of an FCC license per se.

While a broadcast license lends legitimacy to a news product, it certainly doesn't mean that anyone who wants to produce local newscast, if they can find a way to reach an audience. Again, it is all about the dollars and commitment.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who out there is really interested? Which reporters do y'all think have the fire and really care about the stories they're covering more than how it'll play on their audition tape?

Thursday, June 23, 2005 5:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, look what popped up on Shoptalk today about KOIN/Emmis:

Gannett May Expand TV Empire
Jeff Clabaugh
The Washington Business Journal http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2005/06/20/daily25.html

USA Today parent company Gannett may acquire more TV stations to expand its broadcasting division.

McLean-based Gannett, which owns 21 television stations, including WUSA Channel 9 in Washington, may buy 16 television stations from Emmis Communications, according to Bloomberg News.

"We are looking at the Emmis stations. If it makes sense economically, then we'll do it," Bloomberg quotes Gannett CEO Douglas McCorkindale as saying at the Mid-Year Media Review sponsored by the Newspaper Assocation of America Wednesday.

McCorkindale is retiring as chief executive in July, and being replaced by Gannett's president and CEO of broadcasting, Craig Dubow.

Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications owns two dozen radio stations in the nation's largest markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The company said in May it had hired financial adviser The Blackstone Group to help it explore alternatives for its television business, including the possible sale of its 16 stations, to reduce debt.

McCorkindale also said Wednesday Gannett was experiencing softness in advertising demand in some key areas, and said second-quarter earnings growth would be consistent with first quarter growth.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 6:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's sum up. Local news covers nothing complicated, nothing in depth, and caters to the worst in us.
It is filled with preening, blow-dried prima donnas who don't KNOW how to cover a real story.
Local news is irrelevant. It feeds ignorance to the ignorant. It exists to make money, and exploit fear and voyeurism.
I'm a pro.
And the next time you are sent to cover something stupid, you'll just do it.
Weakness is the name of the game.
Although I'm on the air, I will never take another local news job. Ever.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 9:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious...but why not quit? Find a way out...life's way too short to waste it in something you find contemptible.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 9:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you better explain 'life' to them first. people without a sense of self and therefore nothing to offer others, don't mind relocating to another market because they are never IN the place they are, reside in seclusion because they fear society -- these are these media people. I call them popularity addicts what most call 'celebrities.' But they are popularity addicts. They want a popularity to tell them their 'self'. They come alive to hear any of it. That's the high: the seconds when they almost sense life. (As told to them.) Popularity addicts same as pitiable as meth addicts. They don't know no "find a way out". You don't go to a meth den, why would you waste your time with popularity, excuse me, 'ratings' addicts. Obviously more people see them for what they are not (anyone who matters) and that shows in the loss of audience and less money making advertisings. When you want the news, call a live person, friend, acquaintance at the scene and get the story. Or check the internet - you're here aren't you. When you know, you know. Blow your nose on 'local news media' tissue and throw it away. For them it is not "life is way too short." It is their "way is short life, too." And meaning. And value. And now: audience. The world don't care what goes on in any editorial meetings, what sadisms are inflicted by sick 'bosses,' what stories they cover, what they got to say. Zip. Gone.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 11:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To clarify for anon 9:28:
I am on the air. I am no longer in news.

Friday, June 24, 2005 8:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personal opinion: I love being on the air. It's my life. But if not for news, there is no reason to be on the air.

Friday, June 24, 2005 9:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon 9:40:
that's the dumbest thing i've ever heard, and spoken like a true MSM clone.
have you ever seen any shows on OPB? PBS? docs on many other channels? A&E? Discovery?
ladies and gentlemen, i think we have here a perfect example of the arrogance of MSM news.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry. What I get for posting after an imbibulous evening. True for me, but not for everyone.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger lisaloving said...

I recognize that this has become a stale thread, but just to tag a few more interesting ideas at the end...here's the address to a thought-provoking piece in the alterna-mag CLAMOR, written by a former KBOO reporter now working as a news reporter at a radio station in Tampa ("Investigate This...If They Let You, http://www.clamormagazine.org/issues/33/media.shtml).

It's looking at this same issue -- who decides what's on the news tonight -- but from the opposite end: "feeding the beast," what drove journalist Gary Webb to suicide, and the perceived death of investigative reporting.

Sunday, June 26, 2005 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While the media must take the blame, I think the viewers should also take some of the heat. When asked, many people claim to want to see more education stories, legislative pieces, etc, etc. But when we run them (and tell them the best we can), do they watch?? NO! What do they want to watch: the competition that's running a 2 minute piece on "what your dog does at home when you're away."

Portland just isn't a town with serious news watchers. Too many are casual watchers and simply don't care. Those who care will go to NPR, etc. So the main 4 news stations are left to cater to those viewers who don't care, resulting in "series" pieces on dogs, fashion, weight loss, blah, blah, blah.

In the end, commerical TV is driven by ratings. And real journalism doesn't get the ratings. sigh.

Sunday, June 26, 2005 9:56:00 PM  
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