Should Local Television Stations Stick To Reporting The Facts Or Should We Take Stands On Issues?

By: Chris Mossman
By: Chris Mossman

Some local TV stations have a taken an idea from the pages of the newspapers and the cable news networks. These stations are airing daily and/or weekly political editorial segments. I've included a link to an excellent story Mike Malone wrote for Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. Read Mike's story and let us know what you think.

Some local TV stations have a taken an idea from the pages of the newspapers and the cable news networks.  These stations are airing daily and/or weekly political editorial segments.

Bill Applegate, General Manager of CBS affiliate WOIO in Cleveland, recently used one of his editorial segments to, shall we say, outline his displeasure with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  For North Carolina residents, these editorials can remind one of Jesse Helms and his daily commentaries on WRAL-TV from 1960 until he was first elected to the senate in 1972.

In general, local TV stations endeavor to obtain the facts and report them, without political or social bias, to local audiences.  Fox News and MSNBC each appear to be targeting one portion of the ideological spectrum.   Bill Lord, WJLA/Washington DC told Broadcasting & Cable Magazine that “On cable, you go to find people who agree with you, In local TV, you go to get objective local news.”

Click the link below to read the complete story and then share your thoughts with us.

Broadcasting & Cable: Cover Story: Red Stations, Blue Stations




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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Obama Snake Oil co Location: Washington on Mar 17, 2010 at 06:06 AM
    While this goes against my grain, I do have to agree with Nathan's post. I often watch the BBC, Fox and MSNBC. Sort of getting different views and angles. MSNBC seems to report hate of repbulicans and Fox seems only to pick on democrats, the BBC gives both equal grief. I have noticed WITN will move a story off of the page here on specific global warming, yet leave one that is old news, up for months. I am not sure why that is, however, I still enjoy the stories and will continue to post here.
  • by Jethro Bodine Location: New Bern on Feb 15, 2010 at 10:10 AM
    Newscasters say (with their face) how they feel about stories they read. Heather King is easy to read, Dave Jordan is, too. They don't say it, but it's in their eyes. They're only human...they are suppose to have an opinion....I expect no less.
  • by Nathan Location: Eastern NC on Feb 6, 2010 at 01:21 AM
    Well, when a station shows bias for a particular point of view, they compromise journalistic integrity. Giving the facts and then weighing in an opinion is one thing, and I'm fine with it even if I disagree with you. The difference is that in doing so you show your reader that you respect their ability to read all the facts and form a valid opinion on their own and either agree or disagree. Whereas if you only give the facts that support the Republicans and smear the Democrats, as Fox News is prone to do, you send a message that your readers and viewers are not intelligent enough to form their own opinions, that they must be led, herded. If the political party you support is right, present all the facts and people will come to that conclusion. But let them come to it. And yes, I know the Democrats have their stations -- I thought it was CNN though, not MSNBC. Still, I like the BBC's take. I think they're a little right-leaning, but they're mostly fair. (And they have awesome accents!)
  • by Fix your ECU sports page on Oct 11, 2009 at 07:10 PM
    Have you seen how out of date your ECU sports page is? I made the mistake of thinking I could get a recap of the game there, and instead found a "preview capsule" a full day AFTER the game. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the story about Holtz getting a new contract found in your most viewd section and found that the story was from last year! In fact, about 75% of the stories were over a year old. I'm a big fan of your news page, but I guess is average) is the only option for ECU football news.
  • by Ed Location: NC on Oct 7, 2009 at 01:16 PM
    Everyone has a exceptions. Newscasters present that bias by reporting some facts and omitting others so that the viewer will be inclined to infer the position intendend by the journalist. Some news agencies are blatent about it. During the election, the news media was digging through Sarah Palin's trash cans but you couldn't buy a responsible investigation into Obama's ties to Acorn and Bill Ayers and have someone corner the president on those issues. News shows have to get ratings to secure advertising dollars just like every other program. They secure those ratings by sensationalizing trivial matters, fear peddling and whatever tactic they can to retain the viewers' interest. It's all about money and has little to do with discovering the truth.
  • by clark Location: greenville on Oct 6, 2009 at 01:26 PM
    curious why you now seem to have a pang of journalistic integrity; your anchors appear regularly on WTIB and smooze with the host as they (the hosts) go on right wing rants and "interveiw" guests that agree with their philosophies. If Katie Couric read the News and chatted it up with Rush on his broadcast, do you think maybe veiwers may draw a conclusion re: objectivity?
  • by Jennifer Location: Goldsboro on Oct 5, 2009 at 10:50 AM
    TV stations should report the facts, only. Taking a stand on an issue negates the news aspect. If one wants to take a stand, you need to have an 'editorial' segment on the news, and leave it at that.

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