Hold on to your hats, because this will surprise some of you: Local newspapers used to have columnists and reporters who covered area media.
They’d document the comings and goings at the TV and radio stations, write about the ratings, talk about radio formats and new programs — but sometimes, there was more. Now and then, they’d take a sharp look at the journalism done on local TV and the marketing that sold it.
There was certainly an appetite for that sort of news. In a town this size, radio and TV were influential. People like news anchors and meteorologists were our celebrities. By the way, there was never critique of local newspapers on TV.
It’s just one of the things that are gone forever from your newspaper, and this is a time when we could sorely use some media literacy.
Local TV news has not improved in the decade since I left. There is good work done, but the quality of reporting has declined. You’ll still find old hands telling you the stories, but many of the jobs are filled by transient youngsters who have more ambition than knowledge and skill. I love ’em all — but the truth is that they don’t know what’s what around here or in the world at large. Did you know what’s what at that age?
And that’s the sort of thing you might have read about from your newspaper’s media/broadcasting reporter. Before social media, shrinking ad dollars, smart phones — it was another time another place.