Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Live From Nowhere

Ever since the technology to broadcast live remotes became widely available to local TV news operations, news directors have felt they have to justify the expense of all this fancy-schmancy equipment by "going live" with almost every single story, no matter whether or not anything is actually happening at the remote location, which many times, such as "team storm coverage", is just outside the studio in the parking lot. This is not a new phenomenon; it's been going on since the 80's, but apparently there are still depths of ridiculousness to be mined in the exploitation of TV technology.
Take, for example, a particularly silly little report which aired yesterday on the WBNS-TV (Channel 10 in Columbus,OH) morning news. The story was about the search for the as yet missing purchaser of a winning lottery ticket worth about $300 million or so in one of those multi-state jackpots. The reporter was live at the Lincoln, Nebraska gas station/convenience store where the ticket was sold where the winner had not yet shown up to claim his or her loot and, as you would expect, especially at 6:00 in the a.m., absolutely nothing newsworthy was going on. However, the reporter decided to take advantage of the location by doing some shopping and spent the rest of her time showing Chuck and Heather back in the studio what she'd bought, which included an oversized travel coffee mug, a bag of popcorn and a can of Spam.
Yes, this kind of crap takes up precious airtime on local news while the rampant corruption in our state government goes virtually unreported and unchallenged.

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