A yearly study of Louisville TV stations by students at a local High school found local Louisville TV stations spent more time reporting on crime than any other story.
For the study, journalism students at the duPont Manual High School in Louisville, KY, watched twenty hours of WAVE (NBC) WHAS (ABC), WLKY (CBS) and WDRB (FOX) and also read the “A” section of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Then they wrote down what stories they saw and tabulated the results.
The study found 40.5% of the reporting was on crime. Social issues and human interest came in second, taking up 18.5% of the reporting.
The station leading the crime reporting was WLKY which devoted 52% of its time to crime, up from 37% a year ago. By comparison, runner-up WHAS reported crime 49% of the time compared to last place finisher WDRB which reported on crime 31% of the time.
According to WFPL, the stations that responded to the survey attributed the uptick in crime reporting to coverage of the Camm and Gibson trials. David Camm was recently found not guilty of charges he had murdered his wife and two kids. William Gibson was sentenced to death for murdering 75-year-old Christine Whitis.
WAVE news director Bill Shory told WFPL, “It’s really easy to cover crime. You just show up, point a camera, and the rest takes care of itself.”
Here’s the breakdown by subject: