Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Local News Analysis Part 2

This could also be called "Part 1," since the post I wrote before was describing the latter half of the newscast... but that would just be confusing.

There was only one commercial break in the first 19 minutes of the Friday night KARE 11 newscast I watched. Here's how it broke down:

10:00 Northstar Commuter Rail story
10:02 U of M bar has to close for 3 days as a penalty for serving alcohol to minors
10:03 Petters trial progress
10:04 Changing air traffic control procedures for reporting problems to the military
10:04 Daycare and H1N1 vaccine
10:05 County H1N1 vaccination clinics
10:05 Story about a dairy farmer who's had a run of bad luck & a benefit being held
10:07 Preview before commercials
10:08 Commercials: Sleep Express, Tonight Show/Late Show, Star Trek DVD, Gillette Children's Hospital, Ashley Furniture, WalMart, Empire Carpet
10:11 Water discovered on the Moon
10:11 Eagan U of M student breaking records as Paralympic swimmer
10:13 British rowers finished crossing the Pacific
10:14 Weather
10:18 Preview for Monday story on Vancouver Olympics
10:19 Preview before commercials

Whew. So there were seven stories in the first five minutes; and the only things even approaching world news were roughly 30 seconds (combined) about water on the moon and British people rowing across the Pacific Ocean. Coverage of the weather was twice as long as any other story.

'Nuff said. I think I could glean the same amount of information in three minutes of web browsing as I did in 19 minutes in front of the TV, with fewer commercials and MUCH broader scope. My habit of listening to NPR and avoiding TV news whenever possible (except for The Daily Show and Colbert Report, of course) has been suitably reinforced.

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