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Local TV Stations to “Share” video footage

July 7, 2009

On Tuesday, July 7 the Grand Rapids Press ran a story on page 7 with the headline “Competing stations to share some resources.” The story announced that the local CBS, ABC and NBC affiliates will begin sharing resources, mostly in the form of video footage from local events.

The article cites all three of the TV station managers who spoke favorably about the decision. The WOOD-TV8 station manager was quoted as saying, “With the Web site, we’re doubling our content in a way. We’re all looking for ways to be more efficient.”

Fortunately, the story also cites someone from the Poynter Institute who was critical of the idea that stations would be sharing video footage. “What you see is what you get through the lens. That’s not great journalism, that’s stenography.”

This observation from the Poynter Institute is similar to what we have documented over the past 10 years with local TV news coverage, where not only does the coverage fail to report on issues with any substance, but already tend to cover the same kinds of stories. Sharing video footage amongst the three stations will no doubt result in increasingly homogenous newscasts for the West Michigan community.

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