The times, they have indeed changed. And it’s not for the betterment of the intelligent TV audience.
While it isn’t anything new that local TV stations promote themselves more for Armani suits, low cut blouses and getting the HD makeup just right, what I’ve seen here from KUTV in Utah sets a new standard in why the general public trusts their local news a bit less every day when it comes to making the coverage of hard news their first priority.
Promotion departments at stations are always looking for something new in getting their anchors & reporters names out there in the public consciousness. Long ago when the dinosaurs were breathing, or in TV news parlance somewhere around 1995, local stations relied heavily on beating competition to the stories and solid reporting on facts. That has, of course, gone long extinct. In an era of flash, trash and show business, the race is on to find new and “modern” methods of making the audience remember who you are. And if in the cause of creating a promotion you wind up making people who are supposed to be news professionals look silly, amateurish and ridiculous, then it’s a success if people talk about you. It’s all about the ratings, more than ever.
I have a hunch one, perhaps two of the pros here didn’t like the idea at first. They then likely warmed to it when confronted with reality. Do it, or else. There is no such thing as a no-cut contract in TV news anymore, and everyone is quickly replaceable when the ratings dip even a tenth of a point. Their credibility may have been damaged, but credibility doesn’t pay the bills in TV news.
It’s another lesson in why local news is no longer held as a journalistic standard of any kind any more. Another reason why you, the viewer, should always question not just what you see but who is delivering it. These are employees, as in any other business. They understand who signs the check and where the mortgage money comes from. In order to succeed and have any longevity in the broadcast news industry, you do what you’re told no matter how stupid you might look or sound. It’s survival of the fittest.
It’s also a shame, because in the end it’s the public who is made the greater fool of. TV stations such as this know you’ll watch anything as long as it’s entertainment first and news second. And that is exactly what the bottom line likes to hear.
INTELLIGENCE: HAVE A CRITICAL EYE WHEN GETTING YOUR NEWS FROM LOCAL TV STATIONS, AS THEY ARE RUN BY PROFIT MUCH MORE THAN JOURNALISTIC CREDIBILITY. UNDERSTAND REPORTERS AND ANCHORS ARE LITTLE MORE THAN EMPLOYEES, AS REPLACEABLE AS THOSE WHO WORK THE COUNTER AT THE LOCAL FAST FOOD FRANCHISE.