Sunday, November 2, 2008
Who needs local TV news?
Flipping by tonight I saw a good example why local TV news is generally such a joke. It was a piece on the impending closing of Circuit City stores in the area (they didn't mention the nationwide closings) and for starters they broadcast live from a parking lot. Now I do understand that they use these live broadcasts for a bit of variety even if overall such broadcasts are deceptive, creating a feeling of actual reporting and immediacy that just doesn't exist. (One of my favorites was a 10pm live broadcast outside the courthouse about a hearing early that morning - in other words 12 hours later they're pretending that being at the courthouse is in any way relevant.) In this case nearly the entire segment was a prepared piece with the live part as an intro and outro with the topper though that it's already so dark that nothing really could be seen during the live parts. Even worse the story was given with very little context almost like it was some kind of natural disaster. No mention of how Circuit City has been struggling for a couple of years, that Blockbuster was considering purchasing the company until they got a better look at the finances last summer and how Circuit City was even threatened recently with being delisted from the NYSE. No mention of the bad corporate decisions that created this mess or for that matter the consistent reports in national media of poor customer service from floor staff. Instead of that information we were treated to video of employees leaving the stores and refusing to talk, basically nothing of any interest whatsoever but it looks like reporters are reporting when they're actually abusing people who just learned they're losing their jobs. The reporter did quote from a letter given to the employees as if it was a hot scoop though the full thing is easily available on the Internet. The final embarrassment is that the reporter made a big deal about not being able to get any corporate response (as if they're going to reply to every news outlet) before saying he found out that the office is only open Monday to Friday. Today is Sunday.