Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

National Stories Lacking on Local News

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

National Stories Lacking on Local News

Article excerpt

Post-Gazette TV writer Rob Owen answers reader questions online every Friday in Tuned In Journal blog at Here's a selection of recent queries.

Q: I recently moved here from Fairfax County, Va. (near Washington, D.C.). I'm quite amazed at the coverage of minutiae here. For example, I tuned in at 11 p.m. to WTAE (I think) "Action News" last fall on the day Hillary Clinton went before the U.S. House Benghazi Committee to get some information - nothing mentioned; watching that broadcast, there was no trace of any coverage of the day's most impactful story. But I do recall a report on some house in some obscure neighborhood that had Halloween decorations that some in that neighborhood found to be objectionable.

Back in D.C., the local news seemed to strike a much better balance between local and nonlocal news. Has it been the case here for so long that they cover stories that seem to affect so few people? And it's not as though the D.C. metro area lacked for their share of fires, murders, accidents, etc.


Rob: I grew up in Fairfax County, Va., so I understand Alan's confusion, but here's the reality: In D.C., national news is often local news, which is why he saw so much more national political soap opera on local newscasts in D.C.

Western Pennsylvania's hyperlocal focus is not unusual for a medium-size market.

Now, could local stations' resources be better devoted to stories that impact more people, like local or state government coverage? Absolutely, but fires and car crashes are easier to cover and take fewer resources.

Q: How come some of the actors' lines are missing from the closed captions, sometimes whole paragraphs? Which leads to: How come there's such a time lag between the spoken word and the CC becoming visible on screen?


Rob: A closed captioning expert said that if large portions of dialogue are missing from the closed captioning, it may be a transmission/receiving issue on your end. You should reach out to your cable or satellite provider, or to the specific network or station on which you're experiencing the issues. …

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