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"Are Stations Serving the Public Interest?" 2010 Study on LA local news content by the Annenberg School at USC.

Local TV News in the Los Angeles Media Market: Are Stations Serving the Public Interest?

L.A.’s television stations deliver on average about 22 seconds of local government coverage, according to a new study by the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

The study found that only half of a half-hour news show was devoted to news. Of that, local news received 50 seconds more coverage than non-local news. Sports and weather — not considered to be news in the study — received about half the time of non-local news. Teasers and advertisements account for more than a third of each half-hour news show.

“Reports like this are a summon to action,” FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said. “We better pay more attention to what is happening to traditional journalism and find out how to fix it because this is where most of the news originates.”

The findings are the first in an ongoing study of all L.A. television news broadcasts, which is the country’s second largest media market. Researchers analyzed more than 11,250 news stories broadcast on KABC, KCAL, KCBS, KNBC, KTLA, KTTV, KCOP and Spanish-language station KMEX during 14 randomly selected days in August and September of last year.

Of all news coverage, crime took the largest chunk of time — 2:50. Shows also lead off with crime one out of every three times. About 20 seconds less was taken up by soft news, oddball news, human interest stories, contests, makeovers, world record attempts, fashion, travel, cooking, animals going wild and weddings. Entertainment coverage unrelated to business aspects received another two minutes.” Source: Neon Tommy

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