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News

Another Reason to Hate Local News...

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I generally despise the local newscasts. I’ll tolerate a traffic report in the morning if I have to drive to work, and I’ll tune into the weather forecast on Channel 7’s 11 pm news because I like to watch Dallas Raines’ crouching routine against the Doppler 7000+. (And he wears these superb suits – I swear, no one can pull off a double-breasted electric blue better.)

But this week, in light of the Minnesota bridge collapse, I’ve been reminded again and again of how much the local news religiously follows the “if it bleeds, it leads” mantra. Channel 7 sent local reporter Robert Holguin to Minneapolis to cover the story.

But why? Were they trying to find a local angle? Perhaps looking for LA residents who were attending conventions? Did one of their producers have family in the Twin Cities? Why couldn’t they have used the local ABC affiliate’s correspondent? I can understand maybe if the bridge collapse were an act of terrorism and other cities must raise their threat levels maybe, but this was a structural accident.

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Now I'm not saying that Channel 7 needed to go the route of last night's "Which Way LA" with Warren Olney on KCRW - where they talked endlessly about LA bridge safety, but was there nothing else to talk about in LA? Slow news week? I doubt it. Just do a quick read of one of LAist's Extra Extras, and you'll find interesting LA news stories that our local TV media aren't covering in-depth, but should be.

These big outlets are just getting lazy (no wonder viewers and circulations are down). Reporters used to dig for stories, develop sources and do research, not just a Google search. If someone relies solely on the local news for their information, they'd swear that nothing happens in LA but fires, car accidents on the 101, police chases, meth busts, mayoral adultery and sports.

Oh yeah, and that Dallas Raines wears cool suits.