At The Risk Of Repeating Myself...

The issue about repetition in newscasts.

A frequent comment by viewers (and one e-mail we received the other day made mention of it) is that "we run the same stories over and over".

To begin with, as much as we're happy people watch as many of our newscasts as time permits, not everyone does.  If we didn't repeat these stories, we would have viewers commenting (and some have) that, "we tuned in to the 11:00 news hoping you'd show that story that ran at 6:00, but we didn't see it"). We do (or attempt to) update information in developing stories, but if there aren't any new details, the previous story usually stands, at least in a 24-hour news cycle.

But my real point is, this isn't limited to WTAP.

While on vacation recently, I viewed a Cleveland station which airs local news continuously from 4 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. daily.  Now, it may have been because I was watching on a day sandwiched between a holiday and a weekend, but this station, in the 5 P.M. hour of its broadcast, aired the same stories-in exactly the same order-as it did in the 4 P.M. hour. No variation at all. Keep in mind, there's more news generated in a large metropolitan area such as Cleveland, than there is in the Parkersburg area.  And staffing factors (days off, illnesses, vacations-such as mine) can weigh in as well.

At one time, when stations, and even networks, discussed expanding their daily news broadcasts, the thought was, this would result in "more news", or more and varied, and even longer stories, than the traditional half-hour newscasts were offering.  It hasn't worked out that way.  Economic factors are a reason. So are viewer tastes.  Having two-and-a-half hours of news doesn't mean viewers sit through all of it. Some only watch a few minutes, or certain segments, such as weather or sports.  Stations and networks tailor those newscasts for viewers like those.

And "all-news" cable channels spend several minutes-or even hours-on stories where there aren't always new details; especially if they sense viewers are interested.

I could say more...but I'd just be repeating myself.

 

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