• 2012: A Bad Year For Incumbents? A Good Year For Accountability!

    February 20th, 2012

    I’m no political consultant, but I do see research comments from thousands of people from coast to coast – and they are not happy!  And, it looks like they will take out their ire on incumbents – and any other perceived “politicians” this election year.

    It seems that most of the news audience (on all platforms) is “worried and concerned” and they point their exasperated fingers directly at politicians – local, state and national.  This is really not news, I know, but the anger and vitriol has become much more intense over the past couple years.

    To sum it up – from the news audience perspective – most believe elected officials are only in it for themselves – now more than ever – and are much more interested in lining their own pockets, and wasting our hard earned tax dollars than looking out for their constituents.  Recent verbatim comments from AR&D research projects across the country bear this out – in a loud voice.

    “I want to know who is accountable, and think the media should help inform the people who are watching the news.”

    “We need more coverage of how much of the tax payers’ money is being blown.”

    “News agencies have a better chance to ask questions of politicians and police, more than the public does.  I hate it when they sweep things under the rug.”

    “Instead of our politicians working together, they want to fight every idea that is brought before them. I’m tired of our country tearing ourselves apart!!!!

    “I am frustrated with the state of our country and I wish that Politicians would be held accountable.”

    “Check whether the election promises made are not reversed once in power and don’t let the law makers be the law breakers,”

    “Go after corporations and politicians more often, everyone knows they both are doing illegal things or immoral things at best.”

    “Ask tough questions. Hold those in power accountable.”

    “Expose the rich bastards for what they are – CROOKS!”
    Those capital letters on that last one were from the respondent – not from me.  You can certainly get the flavor of the anger from this sampling of viewer comments – in their own words.
    This is your call to action.  Frustrated, angry, worried and concerned viewers everywhere want their local TV station to hold these politicians accountable.
    If you just go out every day – covering local spending, state taxes, political races and every other government story in the same old, trite, unimaginative, lazy, timid manner as it has been done for years on most local TV newscasts – you will add to your customers’ sense of frustration.  But if your news staff actually develops sources, goes beyond the standard “talking point” interviews and asks the tough follow-up questions – then you will certainly stand out among your competitors.
    And, if no station in your market steps up in 2012 – the erosion of local TV news viewing will continue unabated – and more and more of the people formerly known as the audience will migrate to the Internet to get the answers they are seeking.


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    February 2nd, 2012

    The folks at KTXS in Abilene know how to kick off the February sweeps in style.  They rally the troops with OPERATION CAMO DAY – asking everyone to dress in camouflage clothing as they prepare to “go to war against our competition.”  The Bonten Media, ABC affiliate is serious about winning the ratings, but they also know how to have fun as they prepare for battle.

    I happened to be at the station for OPERATION CAMO DAY and watched as they held a quick rally in the newsroom.   “General” (manager) Kyle Krebs gave a fiery speech to send his troops into battle.  Everyone left with a glint in their eye – and an ice cream treat in their hand.  Very cool!


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