...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


There's journalism, then there's local TV news. Let's take a sample. Today, I wrote down stories on KING-TV Seattle's noon newscast. KING-TV, Seattle's legendary community-minded NBC station under its original licensee, the Bullitt family, is now operated by BELO, Dallas Morning News publisher and licensee of about forty U.S. television stations.

KING's done a pretty good job walking the line between today's consulted, researched TV news and journalism. My view: they're still the best Seattle's got, but the overall standard has slipped.

Traditionally, broadcast news stories are "stacked" with the most important stories at the top of the newscast--it's a system based on the traditional newspaper front page. Here's today's stack for about the first half of KING5 News, 12:00 Noon, 05/04/06.

1. Lead story: Teen sentenced for hanging live dog by the neck from a tree. With live reporter leading into video, outside the courthouse.
2. Car-truck crash -- silent video of rescue
3. Sheriff's deputy rearrested for violating bail in spousal abuse case.
4. Photo released by prosecutors -- child rape suspect -- a wrestling coach who allegedly seduced teen boy wrestlers.
5. Three seriously ill after eating poison mushrooms. Video of park, closeups of mushrooms
6. State resumes airborne spraying for gypsy moths.
7. Firefighters contain yesterday's brushfire on Olympic Peninsula. -- yesterday's video
8. Moussaoui sentenced. In-studio intro by KING's ex-NBC guy. Today Show video package.
9. State chooses 25-cent piece design - Salmon-Mt. Rainier wins.
10. New ducklings at Seattle U. reflecting pool.
11. Florida murder-suicide - video: blood on parking lot
12. Rio Grande wildfire video.
13. Major flooding in Tulsa - video
14. Truck drives off freeway ramp (somewhere else, didn't catch where), hangs in midair - video.
15. Tiny preemy baby goes home (also not here).
16. Special feature (it's ratings sweeps month) -- latest production of the good old dependable swab-public-places-send-samples-to-lab-expose-germy-environment story -- video: reporter gathering samples -- stay tuned for part two in second half hour of news show; lab results.
17. Weather
Tomorrow, I'll review a local newspaper's stacking of the same day's major news.

1 comment:

Maxine said...

Hello, I like your blog and found this post very interesting.

I just saw your 30 April comment over at the Publishing Contrarian (to Lynne's posting about the History Boys) and wanted to thank you for your kind remarks. The styx is not as glamourous as Hertforshire, but Kingston upon Thames.
Please come and visit my blog Petrona sometime, let me know what you think http://petrona.typepad.com

Thanks again for the compliment, much appreciated.