Monday, October 03, 2005

The Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen CoverageYesterday's terrible accident on Lake George provided another showcase for Capital News 9's ability to provide continuing coverage of major local news stories. Even at 7pm, as other stations were mired in network programming, CN9 was replaying Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland's press conference from earlier in the day. Local news directors and GMs will blithely tell you that the Time Warner news operation is not their competition; I'm not so sure viewers would agree.

Capital News 9's monopoly on 24 hour local news will not last forever. Sooner or later, one of the affiliates will join the game, most likely utilizing a piece of their digital spectrum to provide their news product all the time. Until then, despite their shortcomings, CN9 is the winner.

From the media literacy department, a good analysis in Mark McGuire's column on the use of graphic footage in yesterday's reports, particularly about how WNYT dealt with the issue. The station, McGuire points out, will not usually air pictures of bodies, "unless there are a lot of them". And why no wall to wall coverage? Even under such extreme circumstance, "Sports fans are a lot less tolerant of interruptions," said WNYT News Director Paul Conti.