Last week, former NBC News correspondent Ed Rabel excoriated local news, saying the industry is “populated by bubble-heads and glib, young, sometimes pretty know-nothings.” WXII president and general manager Hank Price disagrees, making the case in TVNewsCheck that “leading stations with strong newscasts find themselves offering more services to more people than ever before”:
With the unfortunate weakening of local newspapers, television news has also taken the lead in “accountability journalism,” the investigative, political and consumer journalism that holds government, institutions and businesses accountable to the public.
Perhaps most important, the people who work at television stations live in and are part of their communities.
That sense of community is the reason … North Carolina’s television and radio stations, working together in our state association, the NCAB, [last year] decided to create the largest Vietnam veterans’ “welcome home” celebration ever held.
More than 70,000 people attended. Every television news station in North Carolina produced stories leading up to the event. Stations donated more than $1.5 million in public service announcements, and they jointly aired the event live, all at no charge and with no advertising. No other medium could have pulled it off.