Archive for October, 2006

Fox identifies Foley as Dem

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Fair and wrong. As documented by Media Matters for America, Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor and the Associated Press last week actually identified Republican Mark Foley as a Democrat.

In case you’ve been on a news fast, he’s the one who resigned after his lurid email messages to congressional pages were exposed.

Fox prides itself on fair and accurate reporting, so I can’t see the Fox producers saying, yes, let’s just label him a Democrat on the TV screen and see if anyone notices. Can you?

TV news reporter responds

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Responding to the argument that TV news should carry more election stories, 9News reporter Adam Schrager emailed me:

“The rubric by which you choose to measure civic journalism has changed. You and others can call all you want for extra air time on any newscast you select, but I would much rather be able to offer more in-depth coverage for our viewers to experience on THEIR time rather than on a time I’ve pre-determined for them. Further, I have empirical proof to back me up. My experience shows that hundreds of thousands of unique visitors visited the election page on in 2004 and stayed for 15-16 minutes.

It shows me people are interested and if I give them the opportunity to learn when they want to learn, they’ll take advantage of it. It’s a different world from where you sit.”

TV News and the Elections

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

In my Saturday column, I showed how local TV news stations are filling their broadcasts with lucrative political ads, while downplaying the upcoming election.

And local TV news is the top source of news for Americans.

The news director at one local TV station told me that he has a hard time presenting political news in a way that viewers want it. This makes some sense, of course, because they are used to being entertained to death–by local tv news shows and elsewhere.

But, maybe viewers — not just elitist critics like me — want more serious news:

Today, the Radio and Television News Directors Association came out with a study showing that TV news viewers want more serious news. All the more reason that local TV news should give them more election coverage.