Monday, January 08, 2007

More News is Good News

This week, the local Madison ABC affiliate (Channel 27) added a 6:30 newscast to its slate of 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 newscasts.

It's no secret that I'm partial to Channel 27 ever since anchor Christa Dubill played along with one of my joke posts about her. That being said, I watched the 6:30 show, and it appears to be a great idea.

First, it fills a need for people who want more news. Local newscasts are famously devoid of any real content - they are essentially vehicles to show off the latest version of the Doppler weathercast they subscribe to. And they appear to be trending in the direction of attempting to avoid any real news at all.

So it's refreshing to see a station that is actually giving viewers credit enough to try to provide more real news. It looks like they are using the extra half hour to discuss the top stories at more length and in more detail. And the cut-ins with State Journal reporters seem to be a good idea, although they might want to keep a coat and tie ready in the Journal newsroom, just in case. The extra time should also be an opportunity for the station to provide some opinion content or debate, which is sorely lacking in local television.

As a reward for the station treating you like you're not a dope, you should tune in. Giving viewers credit for actually wanting real news should be encouraged. Otherwise, enjoy Wheel of Fortune or Entertainment Tonight at 6:30.