Monday, May 09, 2011

Slow Local News Day or is WCPO Just Saving Money?

This morning I opened WCPO's Website and found that four of the seven top stories on their Front Page were Not local stories. Here's how it looked:
The three local stories are:
  1.  A weather story
  2. A wedding story with a Royal Tie in
  3. A story about the report that a bid move is to be filmed in the Cincinnati area
So, nothing important appears to be happening in Ohio or the Cincinnati area that is not the weather, human interest, or entertainment.  We must have a perfectly run State Government that is not trying to gut funding for a huge list of schools.  We must not have an election for City Council taking place in a few months.  We must not have a search going on for a new Police Chief.  We must not have a Casino project under threat from the Governor.
    Those stories may have a story buried on the website, but they are not important enough to have stories on the front page to get your attention.  Instead, you get weather, fluff, and stories with good pictures or about something that may in some minor way affect your kids.  Exurbanites appear to be kid obsessed, so get their attention and you have them hooked. None of these non-local stories cost anything extra to WCPO because they were written by a non-local journalist.  They are cheap and catch the eyes of the non-engaged reader who might care about reading topics that they could get on many national news outlets.

    Yes, local TV news sucks.  This isn't a rarity, this is what it does.  If a local story is big enough, it takes the lead, otherwise the rest if filler from affiliates with stories that matter more other places or belong on national outlets.  This is NOT a plot to keep people ignorant, this is what the masses consume.  You, the reader, don't care much about local news, so no one tries to sell you on it very often.  Our willful desire to be ignorant about what is happening in our communities helps create horrible local journalism.  If you want Walmart, that is what you will get.

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