Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fire Coverage: Why Is Local TV Missing In Action?

Local TV news has been taking a beating for its decision not to break into regular programming to cover the event, despite the magnitude of the fires. As of 10 am, as we're choking over the smoke and several thousand homeowners remain evacuated around the region, only KABC/7 is covering the fires -- and that's because it's their normal "Eyewitness News" time slot.

Former KTTV anchor John Beard -- who just announced plans to take a job in Buffalo, citing in part his disappointment in L.A. news -- is probably feeling pretty good about his decision right now. Yesterday, he tweeted:

@jb111 3 major fires burning near LA... Injuries reported, homes threatened and not one LA station is live. How times have changed.

Today, he adds:

@jb111 Will LA tv take another day off as fires thrtn hmes and lives? Does anybody in mgmnt have the guts to spnd $$ to give viewers critical info?

@jb111Are LA TV Stations not doing live fire coverage (with lives at risk) because they spent so much on excessive Michael Jackson coverage?

I retweeted Beard's commentary yesterday in agreement. A few followers added these comments:

@trojanchick99 It is disturbing because if this fire were in Malibu we'd be getting 24/7 coverage.

@cajunasian It's sad that the only way I could get updated about the fires was by listening to AM 1070.

@dodgerthoughts Scale is 1 celebrity = 10,000 commoner homes

What do you think? Have the local TV stations completely abdicated their duty in this case to inform via the public airwaves?

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