For the most part, TV News coverage is more important, influential and more widely viewed than anything written in the daily newspaper. Unfortunately, most of it is crap. Of course there are exceptions, Michael Mahoney is one of the best political reporters in Kansas City and he regularly breaks important stories. Also, Russ Ptacek has taking investigative journalism to the next level with his series of reports highlighting contamination at the Bannister Fed Complex.
But other than that, it’s mostly live, late-breaking video footage of house fires and the aftermath of car crashes.
Still, this season there seems to be an extra emphasis on storm chasing.
If I wanted to be stereotypical like a run-of-the-mill HBO comedian, I could simply note that storm chasing is just another dangerous hobby for white people. While that may be a fact, I think the increased number of storm chasing videos on TV speaks more to a lack of creativity in local news; and maybe the fact that now just about every teenager has HD video capability on hand just like pro TV camermen.
Nevertheless, there are a great many things happening in this town. But some screaming white dude pretending he’s in a bad Summer Movie From the ’90s can easily eat up 1/3 of a nightly newscast. And why do they scream? They’re driving directly into a tornado and then somehow are surprised that it’s windy, loud and unpleasant? To me, these people are Midwestern paparazzi without the benefit of the occasional crotch shots of Lindsay Lohan.
In any event, at this point all the tornado footage runs together in much the same way that Katie Horner is going to have to take her top off to prove that she’s really excited.
With the decline of the dead tree media there really is a need for TV News to step up its game and find some way to create exciting visuals and more thoughtful local stories. Or maybe this is just one of the many reasons