The Local News

Have you all noticed a trend with our local news reporting on stuff that isn’t even around our viewing area? Mainly they do it on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve seen it on occasion on their regular news cast too and I always stop and think, “Why are they reporting about something in Utah, don’t we have CNN and Fox News for that?” It irritates me to be honest.

Forgive me right now for I am about to be all over the map with this blog post….

Last week at our Rocket City Bloggers meeting I asked David Hitt, blogger at Stories In My Pocket, to tell me his take on the demise of our local newspaper and he gave me a great explanation which seemed so logical to me once he told me. I had a feeling a long time ago that what he was saying was true but I was an outsider, what did I know? So hearing it from someone who at one time worked on the inside as a real journalist, well, it was validating.

David writes eloquently and crystal clear about the situation on his blog in a post titled, “Selling Eyeballs, or the Self-Inflicted Death of Newspapers.”

I quote David here,

The demand is there, but newspapers are declining. Not because the changing world is killing them, but because they are killing themselves.

Yes! I have always thought this same thing but felt I couldn’t comment because I’m not in the trenches, I’m just a reader; just an observer from a distance.

I blog about all of this to get to the question; is social media such as Twitter and Facebook going to do to our local news that some folks think digital media did to the newspapers? Only what is really happening is that the local news is starting to try to break out in more of a national cattle call because they feel the need to keep up with CNN and Fox News via social media? If that’s the case, please stop it.

When I turn on my local news I want to hear about local news and events not about something that happened in Utah or North Carolina. The same thing with your social media outlets as well.

Recently, I attended a free marketing seminar put on my one of our very own local news stations. I knew this was only about them trying to sell advertisement to the local businesses who showed up and ironically they were touting their promotions via the local newspaper. Was your mind just blown? Yeah.

And what about citizen journalism, is it real? I mean you see it all the time; thieves caught thanks to Facebook people posting video, and Twitter is great for breaking news but only if you are following the right people – local people.

Let me be clear, if someone who is not local “breaks” with news of something national? I am always skeptical until I look it up for myself, or wait for real journalists to report it.

Look, I’m just a girl with a blog. I am NOT a journalist. I blog for fun and for a creative outlet. But I am a reader and viewer of our local news. I live here and want to see reporting of all things local. I don’t want regurgitated news.

Okay, yeah, I warned you this was going to be all over the place. 🙂


  • Amanda Conger

    I think what you are pointing out is that fact that new outlets don’t know their own strength. They have a unique position to report LOCAL news, but it is very hard for them to adequately report national news (hence the popularity of AP feeds). At one time, when there was one newspaper per town, it made sense for them to try to offer both. However, now that we can get national news from national news outlets, it is a waste of time for local papers/stations to report it. Instead, they could develop a very loyal following by simply cutting out ALL national news and reporting only local stories but doing it in depth. Let’s get interviews with new local businesses, hear about large companies opening/closing offices here, high school sports, local events, societies, etc. THAT is what can’t be found in the NYT. Unfortunately, there’s been a huge lack in that area which is why websites and blogs are developing to fill that niche.

  • Becky

    Ted heard from a local retired reporter / editor who says they actually stopped reporting on local high school sports for the most part. They went to just having the record keeper call in the scores when the game was over. Just one example of killing themselves. I agree that sticking to local news would help them immensely. They should report national stories when there is a local tie. Those stories should be things that are important to the community as a whole. I don’t see the point in crime stories from Nevada (or wherever) which are usually not related to our local base at all. The demise of the local paper will leave a huge void in my opinion. We don’t need another USA Today or CNN-HLN. I’m not sure that bloggers will be able to fill the void.

    • Carol

      Hey Rebecca, thanks for commenting. I agree and I also agree that I don’t think bloggers can fill the WHOLE void, however, if enough of us got together that had niche blogs.. perhaps we could take up a small niche in the media, as bloggers and not journalists though.

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