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December 16, 2009


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It's self-cannibalization really. TV news (both local and network) has been on a downward spiral for a long time. I can't remember when I stopped watching it regularly but it was a long time ago. Magazines and newspapers, for their well-documented problems, are now the main outlets for real journalism.

What's interesting is that listenership to NPR, which offers in-depth substantive news, continues to rise while local and network TV news ratings, with their insipid, shallow infotainment, continue to lose viewers.

Bob Conner

Yes, public radio is the exception to decline in radio coverage, with, for example, good Capitol reporters in Karen DeWitt and Susan Arbetter.


Might have something to do w/ what the "real" TV news agencies choose to cover. Its telling that "fake" news is 10x more informative than the "real" news.


Matt, the problem is that local news is incredibly stuck in a 20+ year old formula. Tiny morsels of everything but with nothing substantive of anything (except 20 minutes of weather and sports). This formula may have worked in the 80s before people had access to instant news. I think they'd be better to pick a few topics and do them in a little depth, but I'm not sure most TV journalists know how to do that anymore.

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This blog is by Bob (Robert C.) Conner, a longtime journalist and author of the 2018 novel "The Last Circle of Ulysses Grant" published by Square Circle Press, and a 2013 biography "General Gordon Granger" published by Casemate. He is currently writing a biography of the Kansas abolitionist Col. James Montgomery. His Civil War blog can be found at robertcconnerauthor.blogspot.com
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