Thursday, April 07, 2016


During the 1970's Television News departments used to cover politics pretty well.  City Council meetings and the Legislature were always in play with great reporters like Rodger Beimer, Bob Barth and Ernie Mills.  They understood how the systems worked and were there for the long haul.  Their stories hinged a lot on policy debates and legislative process, unlike today where the only news done is a 'he said, she said' kind of story.  This happens mostly because today's TV reporters are rarely trained journalists.  Rather they are Communications Majors, whatever that means.  They understand little about the intricacies of government.

Of course there are some bright spots on local news some times.  Generally, the coverage of APD and its problems have been fair, although the Mayor and Chief are continually insulated by corporate republican oriented news directors.

I have come to the conclusion that the abysmal state of Journalism won't change on local TV.  In fact the National News Networks are moving toward the local model.  Think the making of Donald Trump.  The only thing left to us are independent news sites on the Internet.  Like the Free ABQ Press, NM Political Report and NM in Depth.  But they only last as long as their last grant of money from a foundation or sugar daddy.  They are journalists sustained by charity, not ad revenue.  I send them some money every once in a while.  But they are like ships passing in the night, soon to be seen no more.


Anonymous said...

Stu Dyson with Ch 4 has the experience and background to do solid political news reporting of City Hall and the Legislature but tends to be a little lazy and goes out of his way not to be confrontational. Ch 4 recent ad campaign of "We Stand 4 New Mexico" and saying they are for the little guy and holding the powerful responsible is a joke as long as they got Chris Ramirez, the Mayors former spokesman, do fluff pieces and sucking up to Berry, even after Berry terminated Ramirez as a result of pressure from the so called Christian Pastor of a certain west side mega church.

Bubba Muntzer said...

I hope you're wrong about these new internet web sites going away, but that has been the history of those type sites. I hope people support them, however. The internet has a lot of potential for "citizens" having control over news and information.

Many people realize they're not getting the complete story from the media, and the impulse to do something about that seems to be behind another internet news place called Burque Media Productions. People are posting accounts of council meetings and video from crime scenes and so forth. They have a web site and post a regular stream of things on Facebook:

Still there is the problem of the dying profession of journalism. Many news articles are simply rewrites of other news articles. No one even picks up a phone and makes a phone call. I was looking at the donor list on one of the local news sites you mention (and that I read) and it was heavily represented by New Mexico politicians. This could be good and bad. Funding has always been a concern in the media business. Someone has to pay the bills and historically it has been mainly large advertisers, who then wanted favorable treatment. But there was also an ethic in the profession that reporters and editors could fall back on, and that enforced a kind of peer pressure sense of professionalism and duty to the truth.

That holds little sway for corporate executives who run TV stations and newspapers. In their world there's a whole 'nother set of peer pressures, undergirded by greed and Capitalism's imperative to maximize return on investment, and the moral tone is set by the Jamie Dimons who are quite open about their immoral business practices, and who are openly sucked up to by politicians of both parties.

Anonymous said...

It is why I read your blog and others like you, whom I choose to believe are honest and reliable.