• Brian Scott-Smith - Broadcast Journalist

Why US local TV News needs to grow-up!


We live in an age where news is at our fingertips and from many different sources, so why does local US TV News insist on continuing to be condescending to its audience?

It's well know in the general news business, wherever in the world you live, that you keep things simple for your audience, in the hopes you can reach a mass market.

In the UK for example, The Sun newspaper, the nations most read 'tabloid' has a reading age of 7, meaning your average 7 year-old should be able to read and understand everything in the paper.

TV and Radio are not much different when they decide their content for their chosen audiences.

But just recently, while watching one of my local news affiliate stations in Connecticut, where I live, the male and female anchors brought the news to a new level of vapidness.

It was the day before July 4th and they were simpering on about fireworks and how you should be careful using them - really? what a shocker!

Now I fully respect the need to pass on information, that's part of the job of a news outlet, and I'm part of that industry too, but please, STOP this dumbing down of the news and giving me, the viewer, your ridiculous opinions and coming across as being worthy and that you're doing me a favour - you're not!

TV News anchors conversations are bland at best and despite News Directors and organizations beliefs that the news is watched based on who's presenting it - viewers couldn't care less who they're watching, let alone what the anchor has to say personally, unless it's Rachel Maddow or Jon Stewart ripping apart other 'supposed' news shows.

Then twin this with stations weather teams also saying - 'we're watching out for you' and 'you're safety is our concern' or 'keeping you safe' when the first rain storm of the season arrives, not only smacks of desperation, it's cringeworthy and a turn-off and it's about time news stations and their staff realised that we, the audience, deserve better - much better in fact.

If you've travelled anywhere in the world outside of the US, you'll now that local news is everywhere and provided in a much more intelligent and far less sensationalistic manner.

Plus we can access news anytime, anywhere and from multiple sources with our digital devices, providing us with a bigger picture view, less biased, tailored to what we want to see and hear and very often without any news anchor in sight.

Movies like Anchorman parody the TV news industry, but here's the sad truth, while the world has moved on, local US TV news has not - if you want a future, then enough with your opinions, just give us the news and as for the rest - just shut up!

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