Thursday, September 06, 2007

Breaking News... Developing News... and all that Claptrap

The other night I was watching the news with my brother Mike (Yes, folks, my brother actually watches the news! I'm so proud of him!). Normally I'm not a big watcher of the newscasts because I work in radio, which means I get most of my news from our news director. CBS Radio (we're an affiliate) or the Internet.

But I watched KSFY. And in terms of news, they are traditionally decent. However, they started doing this stupid "Breaking News" headliner. Basically it takes one "BIG" story and pretty much re-hashes it to death.

The story they were talking about is a supposed recall coming from Mattel regarding their toys, lead paint and all that. Now I can see how this is a concern, especially for people who have kids. Obviously eating lead paint is not good for you... I'm living proof!

So I figured the best thing would be to do the main story followed up with a local reaction right away. All together, shouldn't take more than 2 minutes. Not only did KSFY spread out the story (by my estimates, 4 minutes of a 22-minute newscast), but they kept repeating it throughout the newscast!

"Our breaking news story tonight"

(5 minutes later)

"In case you're just tuning in...."

(after weather)

"In case you've been in a coma the last 15 minutes..."

(before closing)

"If you are an idiot and was just drooling at the screen for the last 30 minutes..."

Okay, I took a little poetic license... And I can understand how there are some big stories that deserve this kind of attention... Poison Gas Leak... Airline Crash at Joe Foss Field... Emergency Evacuation of Minnehaha County because I had supper at Puerto Vallarta (Okay, make that Lake, Miner, Moody, Minnehaha, and Lincoln Counties). But a toy recall really doesn't warrant that kind of coverage, does it?

To me, it sounds like the "Little Boy who Cried Wolf"

Give me radio news any day!

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