Thursday, November 29

We're Taking Local News To The Next Level

There's an ad for a local morning news show that ends with the declaration, "We're taking local news to the next level." It's one of those statements that sounds pretty cool, like "We have nothing to fear but fear itself," but the meaning is actually just as unclear. Almost as vague as commercials I see during the news, like "It's huge," or "Don't settle for less than you deserve." But you have to think about them, and most people don't bother doing that when it comes to catch phrases. I realize it's supposed to be a metaphor, but news it literal, so that's how I'll look at it to try to understand the tagline.

Beyond Local
My first thought in local news being taken to the next level is that it would be regional or even national news. Of course, people would rather get national news from Twitter or Facebook, so that's not it. And most of us don't really want to know more about what's happening in Palatka or Lake City. Or up in Brunswick. It's bad enough that I've had to watch twenty-some stories about the homeless panhandlers in St. Augustine. It's not like those people are watching the news, folks.

Fake News
I guess making news up would also be taking news to the next level.  I think the local news adds wording that elicits emotions (especially fear), but I wouldn't call it fake. The next level could also be seen as bias. Like the extreme political news entertainment channels . I used to watch those channels when I had cable, but I'm much happier now. I am really hoping that's not the next level for local news.

I have to admit that the rumbling, stumbling, and bumbling of local news readers is a bit disappointing. Maybe the next level includes some time in the gym to practice reading. Or better teleprompters. You do realize, local news channel anchors, that people used to have to read from a sheet of paper and try to look at the camera once in a while. Just watch the first 30 seconds of Bob Dunn's broadcast above to see how difficult reading the news used to be.

Actor Portrayals
One of my favorite shows back in the day was The Extraordinary with Corbin Bernsen. And Sightings. Oh yeah, True Stories of the Highway Patrol, too. And Unsolved Mysteries. All of them used actor portrayals to some degree. But my favorite is when it's the actual police officer or person who saw the UFO acting it out. Such bad acting; it was wonderful! I'm officially volunteering to play the ruffian or Bigfoot. Whatever it takes to re-enact the news. That's the next level. Not police body cams or news choppers.