L.A. Local News: Next to None

The Los Angeles Times reports(3/12/10)on a new study of local news from theUSC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism’s Norman Lear Center. The findings are hardly surprising: There is almost no local political coverage on TV news. As the Times notes, “An average half-hour newscast devoted just 22 seconds to government issues, including city budgets, healthcare, layoffs and law enforcement.” Coverage of local politics works out to just under 2 percent of the “news hole”; on the other hand, crime stories make up closer to three minutes ofa givennewscast.

While that’s terrible, the L.A. Times waits until the end of the piece totell us that the L.A. Times does just a littlebetter:

A companion study also examined local coverage by the Los Angeles Times during the same 14-day period. The report found that while TV stations used 1.9 percent of its news hole (minus ads and teasers) for coverage of local government, the Times used 3.3 percent of its news hole (minus ads and teasers) for coverage of local government.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.