Someone once wrote, "Television news was once a vast wasteland, now it is only half vast."
Even my friend, the veteran and politically savvy newsman Dick Knipfing cannot seem to convince his managers that it might be a better idea to cover political races from the standpoint of issues. Rather, Channel 13, 7, and 4 cover the ads that are purchased at their stations by candidates behaving badly. And the print media is not much better. Their websites all have links to the commercials. It is a really peculiar thing that has happened over the last few election cycles and it points out one thing to me. There are few journalists left anymore that can do real political reporting.
I mean, how hard is it to go into the production department of a TV station to watch a commercial and then report on how negative it is, versus going down to Dona Ana county and doing in depth research on the record of republican candidate for Governor Susana Martinez who took $450,000 from a radical right wing Texan for her campaign?
I don't know what the solution to this is. We still must rely on the major daily newspapers with their dwindling circulations to provide us with some decent coverage. At the TV stations we can only hope that the few veteran journalists left influence their news directors to do some work that is not shallow and meaningless. The broadcasters after all use the public airways under a license and should have some responsibility at providing service to the citizens.