Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why some stories don't make the evening news

Our newsroom received a release Tuesday about a local political rally set for that night. Here's an excerpt:

"Members of the Northeast Ohio community and MoveOn will hold a Tuesday evening 'counter-filibuster' in front of Ohio's Senator Voinovich's Columbus Office, as Voinovich joins a Republican 'filibuster' to block a vote on ending the Iraq war. They will call on him to end his participation in the filibuster, which is blocking the Senate from passing a timetable for the safe and secure exit of U.S. troops from Iraq."

Our newsroom sent reporter Kristen Anderson and a videographer to the rally but no one showed. Kristen eventually moved on to another story, but not before wasting part of her valuable news gathering time at an event that never got going.

It's wild goose chases like this that keep today's smaller-but-faster news departments from getting to all of the stories we'd like to cover. Last night, we got word that a vehicle was underwater in Portage County and that dive teams were in route for a possible rescue or recovery. We can't "not" go to an event like that for fear of it being a major news story, but when we commit to an event that ends up being an abandoned vehicle, it limits the time we have to cover other news stories of interest. That's what frustrates viewers and event organizers alike.

POINT OF ORDER: Please don't anyone misinterpret or twist my words here that I somehow wish we had dead bodies in a submerged vehicle. Obviously, we're not wishing for tragedy to make headlines. My point here is that every day is a crap shoot when it comes to assigning the few news crews a TV station has, and sometimes we end up chasing our tails in an effort to get what we hope is something with some teeth in it.


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Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I've often wondered why some stories are "ignored." So it turns out many of the stories simply didn't amount to reportable stories. Although they weren't reported, they weren't really ignored.