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.