News & Views » Columns

Tubed

by

comment

News Hits salivated last week when we received a Project for Excellence in Journalism report that levies mediocre grades on two local television newscasts. The study, conducted by a group affiliated with the Columbia School of Journalism, assigned a “C” to WDIV’s 11 p.m. newscast and a “D” to WXYZ’s show in the same time slot. The study considered such factors as number of sources used, expertise and “local relevance.”

By and large, News Hits hates local TV news anyway, so the chance to report Detroit ranked 10th overall out of the 14 markets studied (for some unexplained reason Fox 2 wasn’t included) had us feeling pretty damn swell.

Unfortunately, in a misguided attempt to appear balanced, we talked to WXYZ news director Bill Carey.

Big mistake. Carey actually convinced us the report wasn’t all that big a deal. Not that the lowly “D” didn’t smart a little. But you have to take hits like this in stride, just like you don’t let something like winning the most local news Emmys this past year swell your head too much.

“The people who prepare this report have a predesigned idea of the message they want to send to stations,” contends Carey. “They have a definition of what quality local news is, and believe that their definition is the only one that’s relevant.”

And while there are points to be considered, Carey figures the ultimate grade comes from viewers in the form of ratings, and from that perspective, his team has been on the winning end lately.

Although he doesn’t actually come out and say it, News Hits had the feeling that the message from Carey was, “Screw the report card. I know what makes quality news, and I’m gonna run my newsroom in the way I think best serves our viewers.”

Which is an attitude News Hits can identify with. In fact, it’s so cool, we’re almost tempted to start watching Channel 7 to see what they’re doing over there. Almost.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail cguyette@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.