Thursday, February 15, 2007


Local media sinks to another low

The observation that local television news has denegrated has been repeated so often that it's become trite -- but until now, this is said in reference to the content, not the delivery. It shouldn't be that hard to match the correct video to stories, launch the cheesy computer graphics at the right moments, and fade to the commercials, right?

I guess it is one of those things that looks easy as long as you have someone doing it right -- and when the engineers keep getting it wrong, you realize that maybe paying top dollar for these technicians is a smart thing to do.

I don't know what the standards are in any other city except Portland, but tonight's 11:00 news on KGW hit a new low in technical incompetence. First, the wrong video was matched to one of the lead stories: the story was about potential flooding in Stevenson, Washington, and a clip about a notorious credit fraud case was shown instead, and ran for almost a minute before someone was able to cut back to the anchor desk. The intended clip was at last shown, but without an apology of -- or an acknowledgment of -- the goof. The next story went normally, until an computer graphic started to take over the screen. The engineers managed to get control of the feed back to finish the story, only to have that same graphic return, and force the station to go to back for a minute or two. (Yvette, who was out of the room and couldn't see the television, asked if I had turned it off.)

There have always been goofs in producing news shows, usually in late summer when the newer staff is given a chance to get hands-on experience because no one is watching; otherwise, one goof every three months seems to have been the norm. However, since early last fall I can't help but think that these goofs happen at least once every week. I don't know why this is, but I have some guesses:


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