For the most part these days I just get summary news from the Internet, digging deeper occasionally as needed. But when something important is happening like 9/11 or maybe a local hurricane then I like to have the full bandwidth of TV video news. However for most purposes national and world news is enough for me and I spend almost no time watching local news. I can't imagine the current market even begins to cost justify every station having a local news crew. - Tom Mark Schubin wrote: > Happy Boxing Day! > > This will be largely a rehash of things that have appeared here > previously, but I thought it might be worth reiterating them. > > - OTA TV vs. cable and satellite TV - When the 9/11 attacks happened, > the TV transmission facilities on the World Trade Center were destroyed, > but, except for a very brief interruption of one of the least viewed > station's signals, cable and satellite carriage of all stations > continued. Only WCBS-TV had a working transmitter in the Empire State > Building (same as after the first World Trade Center attack 8.5 years > earlier), so they were the only station receivable off-air via antenna. > WCBS-TV's ratings went up, and the other stations' went down, until the > other stations got back on the air. I think the only conclusion that > can be drawn is that the increased ratings were due to off-air viewers > using antennas. > > - Radio news vs. TV news - > > - Power failures - There is no question that radio is more likely > than TV to be receivable during a power failure. There are many > battery-operated TVs and many TV-sound radios (many models of the latter > are now being sold specifically for disasters), but their numbers pale > by comparison with portable radios. Distasters, however, are not > necessarily accompanied by power failures. When the 9/11 attacks > occurred, almost all of the New York market continued to be served with > electric power. The same was true of our recent transit strike and the > recent heavy northeast snowstorm. > > - News departments - Fewer than half (but not too much fewer than > half) of U.S. TV stations have news departments. A MUCH smaller > percentage of U.S. radio stations do. I have taken long drives across > stretches of the U.S. without being able to find any news on the car radio. > > - Destroyed transmission facilities - When a hurricane knocks down > towers or floods transmitters, the public searches for whatever they can > get. In some cases, that might be TV rather than radio. I have been at > my relatives' home in rural Colorado when weather has knocked out all of > the radio translators -- and phone and Internet service -- but not the > TV translator. At those times, we watch TV to find out what's going on. > > - Pictures - TV screens can present information beyond what a > commentator says. The projected path of a hurricane or tornado is > easily seen instantly on a map. A list of bridge closings can be > presented as a rolling or crawling graphic. > After 9/11, a local political candidate here in New York set up a > TV tuned to WCBS-TV outside his campaign office and placed rows of > folding chairs in front of it. The chairs were soon filled, even though > the TV offered nothing TV viewers couldn't get at home. I can think of > more than one possible explanation. Maybe people sought a sense of > community. But maybe people who normally get their news from newspapers > or radio (and didn't even own a TV) felt a need to watch TV during the > disaster. Other than owning a TV, I am one of the latter. > > Personally, I get most of my local news from the three daily and three > weekly local newspapers I read. Secondarily, I get news from a > non-commercial radio news station, which, despite a sizable news > department, usually rehashes stories from The New York Times (and which, > after the post-transit-strike mediator-requested media blackout of the > continuing negotiations, announced that we should "stay tuned for > complete coverage of the media blackout"). Under normal circumstances, > I do not watch TV news. > > That makes me an anomalous American. Most Americans prefer to get their > local news via TV -- even Americans who prefer to get national and > international news via the Internet, newspapers, or other sources. But > when disasters happen even I turn to TV. > > Disasters are not normal circumstances. Neither are elections. I tune > to some form of TV (sometimes our local cable-news channel, NY1) to > watch the results at the bottom of the screen. I can quickly discover > the results I want to know about long before radio commentators get to > them (IF they ever bother to cover a local state-assembly or > city-council district race). > > Sorry for the rehash, but it seemed necessary in view of recent posts. > > TTFN, > Mark > > > > ---------------------------------------------------------------------- > You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: > > - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at > FreeLists.org > > - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word > unsubscribe in the subject line. > > ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.