DP on TV Stations

In today’s Daily Progress, Brian McNeill’s stalks (and bags) that most elusive of prey: objective coverage of other local media outlets, in the form of analysis of the two corporations vying for domination of the local TV airwaves. NBC 29 continues to crush the competition, according to Nielsen ratings, bringing this great bit from Newplex general manager Roger Burchett:

“As far as we’re concerned, it’s a book of useless numbers,” said Burchett, though he admitted that if his stations overtake NBC29 he’ll “treat the Nielsen ratings like gospel.”

This is probably the best local media coverage of local media since Coy Barefoot’s study of NBC 29’s news content in C-Ville Weekly back in the late 90s. Not that there’s much competition; media doesn’t often cover media and, when it does, it’s often snarky.

9 thoughts on “DP on TV Stations”

  1. I agree, Waldo… there’s one local blog in particular that seems to see itself as the watchdog of local media, though it’s a member of the media itself. It’s incredibly snarky, which seems inappropriate, A) because I don’t know who crowned this particular publication as the official media ombudsman in cville (this blog is much better in that role, Waldo!), and B) because no other outlet reduces itself to the same level, which means the one in question doesn’t face the same (often obnoxious and insidious) jabs. I think blogs are incredibly useful, but when there’s a chip on your shoulder, it just comes across as nasty.

    So yay for objective reporting on the media! :-)

  2. Objectivity is a myth. Sometimes it is a lie. Stop looking for it. Every source comes down to people, and all people have positions, conscious or not.

    2centDonor – fair and balanced.

  3. What I dislike is when the media presents itself as neutral but then makes biased arguments. Of course, as 2CentDonor mentions, you cannot write an unbiased story. Sometimes I’ve come very close, but then the editors get their hands on them. Being truely balanced takes space, and when your editor says you’ve got to cut your story down, do you cut the perspectives you agree with or the ones you disagree with? Try to say anything unbiased in the space allocated to most stories; even with the best of intentions it isn’t easy.

    What I’d almost prefer to see is media that is open about its agenda, but yet tries to present both sides of issues anyway. I know this seems like a paradox, but I’ve seen it work effectively.

  4. I like the British approach (and the old American approach), in which each paper makes clear its political affiliation. Why not have that sort of thing out on the table? I think everybody’s better served by that approach.

    I’m glad I don’t need to pretend to be objective here. People would forever be pointing out my inevitable failures (or perceived failures) to actually be objective. It’d be a mess.

  5. My biggest objection is the ostensible theory that finding two quotes from either extreme is the equivalent of being objective. It seems to be the greatest lie ever told. That combined with ‘polls’ (scientific and un-) as though belief equals fact and I’m amazed I’m not bald from the inclination to pull out my own hair. I’m also thoroughly pissed off at the ‘liberal media bias’ lie, the repetition of which has created a belief that has been repeated ad nauseum as fact. I much prefer knowing who’s an Al Franken and who’s a Rush Limbaugh and choosing between them. Bring on the delared political affiliation!

  6. I think I’ve found some like-minded souls.

    Speaking of the DP, have you tried to post a comment on their web site? They just don’t get it. Terms and Conditions of Use Agreement for posting comments? All comments are reviewed before posting? This is going way beyond disclaimers.

    What are they so afraid of? It reminds me of an old woman afraid to come to the front door. The world is a big neighborhood that she just dosn’t know anymore, and it scares her.

  7. The DP similarly reviews, edits and rejects letters to the editor — that is, if they’re in any way controversial, or critical of certain government officials or cops. Worthless.

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