Tuesday, May 30, 2017

More Local Matters

It occurs to me that some reader(s) might have felt that I was being overly harsh with regard to local TV channel That's Crapchester's output last week.  After all, they had only just started broadcasting.  Well, those feeling that way might have a point.  After all, the local news output I've seen so far on the channel is no worse than that in the local newspaper.  Only the other week the Crapchester Chronicle had a story declaring 'Man Collapses in Crapchester' - in fact, they were so proud of it that it was the headline story on their website for over twenty four hours.  Unfortunately, the headline was the whole story.  No, really.  It was just a few sentences telling us that a man had, indeed, collapsed in the town centre.  Nobody else was involved, the police weren't called as there were no suspicious circumstances.  He was taken to hospital but released shortly afterwards.  That was it.  Sadly, this sort of non-story is all too typical of what passes for 'news reporting' in a large proportion of Britain's local press.  It represents a sad decline: if you look back at local papers in the sixties and seventies, even the eighties, in fact, you'd find local papers giving detailed report of council meetings and  publishing proper investigative reporting on matters of local interest,

But that was before most of them were bought up by publishing conglomerates which put the papers out in standard formats and on shoestring budgets.  Consequently, unless the story comes to them - someone collapses in the street outside their office - it just isn't going to get reported.  Which, based on what I've seen, is pretty much the situation with regard to That's Crapchester - it's one of a string of local franchises run by a single owner, clearly on a tight budget.  By accounts all of them - and, to be fair, the local franchises run by other companies, also - struggle to generate sufficient local programming to fill their schedules.   Several of them have now entered into agreements with Talking Pictures TV to provide programming for their daytime schedules.  But things might yet improve on That's Crapchester - I learned today that they are already commissioning local programming from a local production company.  Whether any of it will be any good remains to be seen.  I live in hope.



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