Monday, March 15, 2010

Coming up... News at 11... L.A. Local TV Examined

Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher and other members of the Los Angeles Civic Alliance commissioned a study from the Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism to examine LA local news over a two week period, last summer.

Basically, they recorded all local newscasts from eight stations, around the clock and broke them down into more than 11,000 stories, which some of the averages per half hour were as follows;

Sports & Weather: 3:36 min.
Crime Stories: 2:50 min.
Human Interest/Oddball/Fluff: 2:26 min.
Teasers: 2:10 min.
Local Economy: 29 sec.
Local Government: 22 sec.
Stories from Outside the Local Market: 8:17 min.

The Lear Center also looked at the Los Angeles Times over the same fourteen day period, which they compare to local television news as a percentage of the news hole.

Because broadcast television is supposed to serve in the public interest, the Civic Alliance are using the study's findings to draw attention to what they consider TV's shortcomings and though it's unlikely to bear fruit, they're making noises about weighing-in on license renewals.

Semi-Related: Pew/PEJ - State of the News Media - Local Television
Update: An LA Times article about the study.
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