December 6, 2009

Small Time

Posted in Media, Uncategorized at 6:27 pm by R

I was visiting my parents for Thanksgiving in rural Southeastern New Mexico and I noticed something…their local news sucks!

No, I’m not talking about lame news stories — those are everywhere (enter reference to Tiger Woods here). I’m talking about bad production, paltry reporting and skimpy information.

Roswell — where my mom and dad are at — doesn’t even have a local news affiliate anymore! That’s what the real issue is, I think. They have no town crier! Even the smallest of towns ought to have a reporter to cover the local interests. That’s what makes journalism a civil service, right? They aren’t even afforded a single reporter who zips footage back to the mother ship…

In a time when news stations have both citizen journalists and affordable resources and technologies which creates the ability to produce coverage in even the most remote of places, why don’t they?

There’s no reason for any small town to be ostracized when it comes to news coverage — not in this day and age where technologies abound.

Because broadcast technologies are changing so much and the media landscape is shifting at a more rapid pace than anyone could possibly have predicted, it’s important keep everyone in the loop. Older generations still rely on the local news and the daily paper. As those mediums are stripped away or shifted online, what will the impact be in the midst of a crisis? How will people who aren’t computer literate get their vital local information if the news affiliates don’t provide it?

I’m a big champion of utilizing new technology and social media to engage people and offer information. But there’s a big ethical question looming out there about how to responsibly provide coverage to people that aren’t well versed in the Web.

What is a TV station’s responsibility to provide a reasonable standard of local news coverage?

I don’t know the answer. But it better not begin and end with the bottom line (yes, I know $ has to figure in there somewhere, just don’t be a total Scrooge about it). There are a lot innovative ways to secure coverage to create broadcasts. Get creative. Don’t continue to be small time.

~R

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2 Comments »

  1. Momma said,

    You have that right! Now our town is high “desert” in more ways than one. We are “high and dry” when it comes to news coverage. It is somewhat unsettling to have a TV reporter who would get lost driving to SE NM, inform us about something that happened five miles way, two days ago. And as a blurb at that. If our local stories get onto the ABQ news it is because it reaches a certain level of controversy or negativity. “How often is Roswell on the ABQ news?” you ask. Maybe twice a month. Some town crier – more like country mouse now.

  2. Momma said,

    UPDATE: Now we are graced with a “Southeastern Update” during the ABQ morning news. Two people who look like they are in first semester TV production class look at the camera. One asks a question about the upcoming event – the other -sounding like the Bartles and James ad – answers. The segment is under ninety seconds. This is NOT news, folks!


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