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March 30, 2010

Local News Comparison

It was very interesting to watch all the sports sections within local news programs. While there was unavoidable repetition, there was still room for stations to differentiate themselves. Sports play a big role in our society and have an effect on people throughout the country. As a local news station, you are in direct competition with other local stations. On any weeknight, a consumer can easily find at least three options to get their local news or sports. This only puts a more importance on the presentation of these local programs. In order to gain viewers, local stations must separate themselves from the competition and Local 7 does this. While all three programs had the same news to report, only local 7 covered more than just Michigan State basketball. Local 2 and 4 did have an hour-long sports program immediately following, but that should have only allowed them to cover more stories outside of MSU. They then could have used their hour slot to go in further depth about the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I think this approach makes more sense because at the end of the day, viewers who are MSU fans are more likely to stay tuned in to enjoy this accomplishment. Channel 7 on the other hand was able to cover more sports in the same amount of time. Not only did they cover the important aspects of the MSU game, they broke stories about UofM hockey and basketball player Manny Harris.
Local news programs must carefully manage their air time and are forced to cover a lot of material in a very short period. Not only do they cover national news, they have to local stories to report as well. In terms of sports, I believe local 7’s ability to cover more than one sport story separated them form the other stations. However, it is worth discussing that the local 7 program I watched occurred during the week, while local 4 and local 2 were watched during the weekend. This is important because it might be an explanation of why some stories were covered, and some were not.
Overall I think Local 7’s Katrina Hancock’s ability to connect with the viewer was far superior than her rival colleagues and ultimately put local 7’s sports coverage at the top of my rankings. By taking responsibility for all of the interviews and not having to bring in an additional reporter, Katrina was able to gain credibility with the viewer and therefore made me value her opinion far greater. When watching national programming, it is easy to loose one’s local perspective on current issues and events. While I am not about to watch all three programs each day, I will say that everyone should brush off their antenna controller and tune into local 7 news at 5pm each and every weekday for the best sports coverage and reporting.

Posted by abaumann at March 30, 2010 02:30 AM

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