Local Stations get Kudos from National Group, GR Press GRIID studies continue to be ignored
On November 17, the GR Press ran a story on a National local TV news study conducted by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The report – Local TV News Project 2002 found that WOOD TV 8 was rated 3rd in the country out of 53 stations surveyed. WZZM 13 received a “High B” mark. The Press article was quite congratulatory, interviewing the news directors from both stations.
One major flaw of the study, conducted in the spring of 2002, only looked at the 6pm newscasts, Monday through Friday, for 4 weeks – two of which were during Sweeps Weeks (ratings weeks). Everyone in the TV news business knows that stations will put forth their best efforts during sweeps weeks so that they can get better ratings and promote that to advertisers. Unfortunately this does not translate into quality reporting throughout the year.
The Press article also informs readers that “more than 100 TV news directors returned surveys answering a number of questions.” What they don’t tell you is that the people who set up the standards for the study are also all former or current broadcast people. This begs the question – will broadcast journalists create standards that make them look good or bad?
Besides the flaws of this national study, we find it interesting that over the past 5 years the GR Press has never published a story about any of the 20 local news reports that GRIID has conducted. GRIID has done 30-day studies on up to 6-month studies. We acknowledge good reporting when we find it, but we also critique coverage and provide recommendations for improved coverage.
Contact the GR Press and ask them why GRIID reports are not news stories. Local News Desk: 222-5455 or send letter to email@example.com and contact Terry DeBoer, a stringer who wrote the article at 363-9250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.