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On local broadcast media & (lack of) coverage

I posted this commentary as a reply to a post earlier on lack
of coverage in the local media, but was
interested in your comments on it's merits (or lack thereof).

If against the rules, I sincerely apologize.
Please, please, please don't call the local media's
presentations "news" or "journalism".
It's INFO-TAINMENT, pure and simple (and quite obvious).

They are most decidedly NOT in the journalism business.
They are in the ENTERTAINMENT business.

Original, hard hitting investigative news gathering is
extremely expensive and makes very little (if any) money.

Repeating the government and police press releases almost
verbatim like trained parrots is inexpensive and highly profitable.
They let the govenment do the "work" for them (at our expense),
accept it at face value, and rarely question the party line unless
public opinion demands it. And even then, often they don't, in fear
of losing their very cushy relationship with those in power
and those precious advertising dollars by rocking the boat.

When's the last time you saw an investigative story done
on any local new car dealer's shady sales practices?
We all know anecdotally of consumers being ripped-off
and mis-led in order to get that sale. That doesn't happen
in the Portland metro area? Were in a glass bubble here?

What about XXX Corporation in Portland laying off 400 employees?
Does Channel 2/6/8/12 also mention their CEO was just given
a $100,000 raise last quarter, and that he was already making
an outrageous number of times what the average hourly person was?
Do they ask the corporates if expenses like the LearJet,
the skybox at PGE park, the company supplied vehicles, and the
private ski chalet at Aspen were cut first?
Is there any mention of the additional strain that will be placed
on already over-burdened social services?
Any interviews with laid-off employees who had a year to go until retirement?
Hell no! The story usually ends with the news anchors conjuring up
a little phony empathy. Perhaps they hang their hair sprayed heads for a moment.
It's all too predictable.
Then on to the weather, the traffic report or countless nauseating minutes
devoted to those god-damned "feel-good" stories.

Did you know that the FCC grants broadcast media their licenses on the condition
that they operate "in the public interest"? How's all of this crap they
spew out "in the public interest"? Just before the renewal of their licenses,
the FCC invites public comment whether or not they should or should not be re-newed.
I send my comments, DO YOU? The broadcast media's under the impression
their licenses are for eternity. Perhaps with enough input to the FCC,
they may have to re-think their impressions.
(At least that's the way it's supposed to work)

I long for the day KGW/Belo, KATU/Fisher, KOIN/Emmis,
KPTV/Meredith each announce layoffs due to declining
TV news ratings. THEY ALL SUCK!

what to do 11.Dec.2005 17:14

RT

Another prime example of the lack of journalism is the "coverage" given to yesterday's protests downtown. There was NO mention of any of it on the infotainment shows or so-called 'news' stations. I sent the Indy articles to a friend who was shocked to know that all of that was going on in her city and she was clueless. Needless to say, she will be looking on Indy for news from now on. You are right, Marlene, we should no longer call what is presented to us on the corporate stations 'news'. It is carefully programmed script and the folks you see are talking heads.

Fuck The Corporate Media 11.Dec.2005 18:50

FTCM!

I thought we hated the corporate media, so why should we care if they cover our demonstrations or not?

News is Extinct 11.Dec.2005 18:52

ranger

News nationally is pretty bad and horribly inadequate in Portland. There is little investigative reporting of significance. Occasionally, they will do something simple minded on the amount of bacteria in your home, but it is almost next to imaginable that they would call some big Oregon company, or its CEO's to task. They are bought and paid for by the corporations so don't expect much. It's mostly fluff as news has been since the 80's.

I was requested to check 11.Dec.2005 19:23

Lew

I was requested to check, and if there was any coverage on any of the channels, to record it for those who were able to be the news. There was NO coverage on any "local" channel.
Instead, between inane, and insane attempts to hold the commercials together, we had a review of Narnia, couple of "stories" taken from national infotainment during the week, a lot of giggling, and of course, the obligatory dead hero, home from Iraq story(they really could NOT skip those, could they?). What "content" they do show, they race past, so that they can spend hours on the weather (everybody was out there, right?). Bet there are about three thousand citizens who were out there with you, who, upon seeing how they were ignored by the "all local, all the time" stations, will tune out, tune in to Indy. Fuck the corporate media

of course they didn't show up! 11.Dec.2005 19:48

she devil

They didn't want us laughing at their hairdos or the possibilty of getting peppersprayed again! And yes they don't consider it entertainment so why bother?

KOIN 6 did cover it, and did a decent job 11.Dec.2005 20:57

fact checker

KOIN 6 had stories on at 5 and at 11--it wasn't bad. They showed video of the march and had a pretty long soundbite from Tom Chamberlain. I'm sure this will cause some nasty responses, but I think they did a better job on the numbers than PDX Indymedia, which chose to feature the story that said there were 600-1000, which is then pretty much repeated as fact, and featured on the global Indymedia site. The person who came up with the 600-1000 figure did not explain how they came up with that number, while other people claimed to count groups of one hundred, or the number of tightly packed blocks and came up with much higher numbers. KOIN 6 said there were "over a thousand". And we all know the corporate media, just like the cops, tend to underestimate the numbers.

I would like to know how the person that came up with the 600-1000 figure did so, and I would like to know why Indymedia editors chose to feature that story, and not the earlier story with the higher number.

To those that say the numbers don't matter, I disagree. The DC cops know longer give out crowd estimates for big rallies because of arguments over numbers. They routinely undercounted the numbers, and were challenged aggressively by the organizers of several big rallies, most notably the Million Man March.

Did anyone send a press release out? 11.Dec.2005 21:01

just wondering

sometimes they actually don't get word of events believe it or not.

Any other photos? 11.Dec.2005 21:05

sadder but wiser

If anyone has any other photos from the march, please post them. There were some beautiful moments.

KBOO at zipcode 97214 though often entertaining ... 12.Dec.2005 07:09

glen theKnownUniverse@yahoo.com

... broadcasts actual news and genuine public affairs ... at the really rather leftest end of the dial ... at 90.7fm Portland Oregon USA.
.
Many recent news and public affairs broadcasts of are now being archived and made available, free on the internet at
 http://www.radio4all.net
.
Warning: those files are compressed ie LOW-FI -- to allow download and streaming by dial-up modem and 'Legacy' boxes (over seven years of service)
.
Rest assured that there will be hightly creditable coverage of the Stop-WTO / Human Rights Day in Portland this Saturday just passed (I think I heard Julie Sabatier covered the event).

503 287 3473

this means you 12.Dec.2005 07:11

she devil

This lack of coverage is yet another wake-up call: indymedia needs your citizen journalism! Not just about this march (great coverage, peeps!)but also about what's going on at your school, place of business, neighborhood, etc. Don't be shy, don't worry about your spelling or grammar, JUST WRITE!
Also critique the main stream media at every chance you get, either here or to individual reporters-my experience has been that sometimes they listen but at the very least they become defensive and a bit more cautious when they know people are watching and will call them out on their shit. I've had some pretty interesting email exchanges with the boregonian writers about how the paper operates and how they do their jobs.
And a big hearty thank you to those who take the time to write here: you've really changed the face of news in cascadia and saved my sanity.