December 11, 2008

Community Media Biting the Dust

Posted in A walk on the "dark side", In the news, Media, Political Punditry at 4:41 pm by R

My mom called and left me a message this morning at o’dark thirty with the major Roswell Daily Record headlines.

KRQE TV in Albuquerque is closing down the KBIM TV station effective TOMORROW.

KBIM offers Roswell’s only local newscast. What’s more, this Southeastern New Mexico CBS station really served the whole SE corner of the state, which includes places you may or may not have heard of like Artesia, Carlsbad, Hobbs, Clovis and Portales.

In my still groggy state, my response was: “So what.”

But as I started to wake up and smell the repercussions of KBIM going off-line questions popped into my head like:

  • Where will the community news come from?
  • Can an Albuquerque-based station adequately cover the news SE New Mexicans have relied on from the talented Kim Stecklein for years?
  • How many other major-media-owned community stations are going to go the way of the dinosaur?

So what are Roswell’s options?

Well demographics-wise, the place skews old. Technology-wise, I was well out of high-school before Cable Internet took hold. News wise, well people want their news. Roswell citizens are really connected to their community. They still need and deserve local news. So how do they get it?

Given all of this, I think there are some options (mom, listen up):

  • The New Mexico Military Institute’s students could fill the news needs with a Vlog. Perhaps a news writing class is in order. (Yes, I will be a guest speaker, no you may not call me ‘Roberta’ in front of the class — that .50 a piece deal still holds up right?)
  • Community News Blog sponsored by KRQE — since they had to axe the broadcast, why not follow the lead of CNN and have an iReport function for news contributed by Roswell’s people? Accessible anytime on the Web, these stories can be used on TV to fill time during the 5:30 & 10:00 holes that have recently been created.
  • Record TV — the paper could become a multi-media by offering a newscast on their website.

I suspect this same scenario will be playing out all across the country as news conglomerates aim to shore up budgets by making strategic cutbacks. And I also suspect that the future of community news all news will be on line. Like it or not.

This will be a conundrum for the “media Goliaths” as fiercely local, grassroots “media Davids” crop up to fill the footprints the Belo’s, Meridith’s and Argyle holding companies leave behind. Where do you suspect the loyalty (read: advertising $$$) will go?

In the words of Jack Welsh: “Change before you have to.”




  1. Sue said,

    Hey girl: What a busy day you’ve had and you finished it off kicking and smiling. I loved tonight and I’m really glad you’re teaching!

  2. Bill Butler said,

    I will really miss “Kimbo” and her haystack hairdo. Lately she could use some “Nutri-System” and personal input from Mari Osmond That nasal delivery used to make my day! Seriously now, the local delivery was keeping me and others informed of the happenings in southern New Mexico. The content will be missed. That sports guy really talks to fast, mostly about way to many local schools, but he appeared to think he was doing the right thing for our part of the state. TV will not be the same in the evening.

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