Television ratings war???
Colorado Fires: Wildfire images are stunning, as TV anchors let emotions rule
By Joanne Ostrow
Posted: 06/27/2012 10:48:01 AM MDT
Updated: 06/28/2012 08:46:22 AM MDT
The images of Colorado’s wildfires are humbling, terrifying and mesmerizing. There’s no disputing the power of the visual reports.
What is debatable is the presentation by media folks, who like many throughout the state have been under extra pressure to perform for weeks. The stress is beginning to show.
Less emotion and hyperbole, more facts and perspective would do.
On Tuesday night, when Gov. John Hickenlooper landed via helicopter in Colorado Springs, TV anchors seemed to underplay his remarks and rush to offer a can-do spin.
“This is as serious as it gets,” the Governor said.
A few relentlessly-upbeat anchors and reporters chirpped afterward about everyone pulling together, the heroism of firefighters and how caring it was of the Governor to show up, unlike a certain California governor who didn’t until much later in that state’s wildfire emergency. Some TV folks apparently feel the need to be cheerleaders and hand-holders during a breaking news event.
By contrast, a Colorado Springs anchor reportedly was in tears on the air when reporting what she called the “terrible tragedy.” Many anchors and reporters are adding their own emotional layers to the story, offering prayers, sending their hearts out to victims, putting personal vibes on top of relevant information.
As they taught in journalism school, Show, don’t tell. Viewers can frame the tragic sense themselves.
Denver TV ratings have flared in proportion to the news. Among viewers age 25-54, the key news audience, KUSA has led the field with KMGH a strong No. 2.
On Tuesday, shortly after the Colorado Springs fires took a dramatic turn, KUSA’s “9News@9” on sister station KTVD-Channel 20 scored a 5.4 rating and 16.3 share or percent of the viewing audience.
Fox31 News at 9 p.m. scored a 3.5 rating and 10.5 share.
Later Tuesday night, the race lined up this way: 9News at 10 p.m. scored an 8.0 rating and 23.3 share.
7News at 10 p.m. scored a 3.9 rating, 11.4 share.
“Nightside” on FOX31 had a 2.3 rating and 6.6 share.
CBS4 trailed with a 1.8 rating, 5.2 share at 10 p.m.
Joanne Ostrow: 303-954-1830 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hosea 4:8 (GWT)
They feed on the sins of my people, and they want them to do wicked things…