Monday, September 24, 2007

Your Local Ads, Er News

I have completely broken myself of the habit if watching local news on weeknights. This gives me at least 2.5 hours of life that I can better spend doing almost anything. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get rid of Sunday night local news. I just want to see a live weather forecast from time to time, and I like to hear a weekly wrap on local sports.

My inability to break this happen means that I end my weekend with one of the most infuriating experiences of my life. I guess it's a nice way to let myself know that fun time is over. I know I will see stories about house fires three states away, something awful that happened to an animal somewhere, and probably a live shot of a field reporter standing in some unidentifiable, pitch black location. I have, to an extent, made my peace with that fact.

Last night on KSHB, however, these asinine stories were in short supply. "Did they have real news on," you might be asking yourself. Of course not. What they filled a considerable portion of the newscast with was advertising. There is a series KSHB runs every Sunday night called "Business in Action" that is simply an advertising vehicle. It hit a new low Sunday night when I was "introduced" to one of these action-oriented businesses for the second time. Gallup Map Company may be a fine maker of Kansas City street maps, but are they so great the should be featured twice on this already ludicrous segment. If Channel 41 is going to pimp local businesses on their newscast, shouldn't they at least spread the wealth?

Had it only been this BIA report, the newscast might have faded into memory as most newscasts do by the next morning. But after explaining the virtues of a local business to me for the second time, KSHB went on to do a long "news" segment about two new shows this fall on NBC.

If this is how they are going to conduct a news program why waste money on a set and anchors. Who will be the first news organization brave enough to just have a weather forecast surrounded by 25 minutes of advertising? At least it would be a little less disingenuous.


Anonymous said...

You may not think Clegg's stories are news, but they're not ads. The station doesn't get a penny from those stories - and the businesses are not chosen with sales in mind.

Jim said...

So it's cheap advertising.

While it certainly would be much more concerning if the station did receive money for the pieces, it doesn't change the fact that they are essentially features on the unqualified greatness of business X.

Maybe if the businesses were doing something new, and thus met the "timely" criteria for journalism, it would not seem so egregious.

The question of how they are selected seems like a good one. More importantly why run the same one twice?


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