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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

This just in...

At least they're not making it up. But I can't help but marvel at how many local media resources are about to be spent on a wedding five time zones away.

The Globe fails to mention it also plans to dispatch a reporter to London (they are soliciting locals to comment in the Reporters Question section). And I assume the Track Gals have been booked for months.

But as we struggle to cope with the loss of footage about car crashes and fires, you have to wonder why a market that has seen a reduction of resources and serious reporting needs to cover an event that is going to be the focus of saturation attention from the networks to the most obscure cable outlet.

Listen to those chosen to spend a week in London and you hear rationalizations about the royal wedding:
“You can compare it to a large political convention or the Super Bowl,’’ said [WBZ-TV's Paula] Ebben. “There are people in Boston and New England that are interested in seeing good local coverage and good local angles of a story this size.’’
And just in case you're not buying that one:
“This is a once in a generation event,’’ Ebben said. “I think a lot of the women who will remember getting up with their mother are getting up next Friday morning to watch this wedding with their daughter. It’s nostalgic.’’
Which strikes me as a bit more honest than the folks who stress their coverage is intensely live and local:

“We are going to try to make it as relevant locally as . . . we can,’’ said [WHDH-TV vice president and general manager Chris] Wayland.

Funny, I didn't hear someone mention it's sweeps, the ratings period used to determine advertising rates?
“It makes the station look like it’s big time,’’ said Robert Thompson, a TV professor at Syracuse University. “It’s not like you need any more coverage but there is a certain branding value to it.’’
Yeah I know, it's fairy tale time, viewers have a thing for the dysfunctional Windsor family, and the pomp and golden glitter that attends to them. Many, like Ebben, remember watching Will's parents get married (we all know how that turned out). And between earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear catastrophe and Mideast revolutions we can use a little light viewing.

I also know it's wishful thinking to expect local television to cover important issues like the House budget debate (a terrific insomnia cure) or the trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi.

But what I really want to know is: with a reporter and camera crew assigned to London, whose going to be available to cover that fender-bender on 128?

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Blogger Mark Adler said...

I'm also appalled at all the coverage. AND it's not a liCal story no matter what they claim.

But then, these are the same media outlets that send 15 "reporters" to cover a Patriots game.

April 23, 2011 10:43 AM  

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