A 19 year old college student wrote what should be a very revealing letter to the editor about the state of local news. “It is worthless” according to Andrew Barr.
The article which first appeared in the LA Times, says more about why local news is losing viewers than anything I have read in years. “I can call anyone, anywhere, on a cell phone. I can talk to my friends across the country online. I can find any information I want. I can watch anything I want. I can get news from any source I want. So, understandably, there is a reason why I do not watch the local news. It is worthless.”
“Content”, he writes “is an afterthought to most local news stations. Gimmicks can grab a viewer’s attention. Only content will keep him.”
Sadly, most of the news consultants and news managers who read this will disregard it.
They’ll let it go in one year and out the other because that’s what they’ve been doing for years.
I was in an editorial meeting once when a manager told the reporters and producers that “it doesn’t matter what we do to get them to watch, what’s important is that they watch.”
That may have worked for a while but not anymore. They’ve made their beds and now they’re sleeping in them.
Why won’t they listen to guys like 19 year old Andrew Barr?