We can do it
If I don't sound coherent, I apologize in advance. My mind has been fried by reporting all day on Lindsay Lohan's latest escapade, which is a shame, because today's topic is serious.
The traditional media outlets in town must do more than just be a stamp of authority on news that everyone already knows. We can bring much-needed context and background to important stories. We can enlighten on issues that bind this region together. And most of important of all, we can focus on news that is relevant.
We have to do something. Newspapers are losing readers and TV newscasts are losing viewers.
The reasons for this may not be our fault. People have less time than they used to. They're spending many hours stuck in traffic. And when they do want to find out what's happening, they have plenty of options. People don't have to be passive consumers of news anymore. The Internet has brought more democracy to the flow of information. Local independent blogs have become graffiti boards where stories and rumors are traded. They are giving the average person a chance to participate in a way that they've not had before.
The bottom line is: We have more competition now, and that means we've got to do better.
The question today is about whether we in the old media still can and should break news that matters. Of course we should. In television, I get a sick feeling whenever anyone uses the term "breaking news" because, in my line of work, that phrase usually means we're reporting on something that doesn't really matter to most of the audience. When you see the "breaking news" banner across the screen, get ready for a celebrity arrest, an overturned big rig on the freeway or a police chase.
Let's stop that stuff and give the audience something with more depth. I hope my bosses are listening.
Luke, go ahead, beat up on us some more.
Eric Spillman has been a reporter for KTLA's "Morning Show" since 1991. He blogs at ktla.com.
I live in a hovel. You live in a townhouse!
I want to make a difference. I want to give my readers something they can't get elsewhere. As a blogger with no love, no life and no money, I must do that or die.