Lack of local news

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Posted by w0ep on June 2, 2020 at 8:52 pm

[Yesterday: 4.6 miles on S. Grandview]

One of the features of our current location is the total lack of local on-the-air television channels. I’m not sure it is a good feature.

I’m really very surprised that a city this size doesn’t have a local TV station. But my guess is that the complexity of the local terrain has something to do with it. There are houses not too far down the street from us which have ancient TV antennas on rusty old towers. And we are located near the top of a hill. So that tells me that even as long as it takes a tower to rust there has not been a great over-the-air TV presence.

I was asking my immediate neighbor and he has cable or dish or something and sees some local news. I think it comes from a station in Waterloo, IA, about 100 miles west of us which I believe may have a local news bureau.

This is in contrast to our former town, Columbus, MS which supported it’s own television broadcast station and had less than half the population of Dubuque.

I find that surprising.

We don’t have cable. Our movie and show watching recently has been via Amazon Prime. So I actually know very little about what the TV news is showing these days. I don’t know the current Corona virus protocol in my state unless I go and look for it.

I get more local news from the local authorities posting on Facebook. It is a very weird situation.

A similar thing which I find strange and particularly less effective these days is the phone book. We don’t have a “land line” telephone so I don’t have a yellow pages and have no way of looking up addresses and phone numbers other than to shotgun search with Google. In Mississippi we still had a phone book but it was growing less effective each year as people dropped their regular phone service and went to cell phones only.

How come the phone scammers still know my phone number but someone who might actually want to talk to me can’t access it?

All of that was driven by my detachment from the Corona Virus and civil unrest. I see things on the net, but otherwise not much is happening here. For awhile we had the American Legion guys across the street doing a memorial service 3-4 times a week. But that seems to have slacked off. And the hospital 1/4 mile away seems to have less helicopter traffic recently. My wife tells me we did have a couple of small protest events but they were peaceful… which I really appreciate.

But I didn’t go out and buy any large stock of 12 gauge ammunition, so if virus addled anarchists attack the house, we will probably be overwhelmed.

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  • On June 3, 2020 at 8:50 am Jonathan Howard said

    Personally, I find the local news to be glitz and not much substance. We have a few stations out of San Francisco and they are similar to Minneapolis and Madison – the last three areas I lived in. Fancy graphics and visual transitions (that might be exactly the same as in other markets – I’ve noticed that when traveling), self-promotion “always on your side” or “see it here first”and lingo “future cast” (forecast). Live feed of traffic jams on-site. “That’s right Bob, the traffic here at the freeway is not moving at all- now back to you in the studio.” Watching KRNT when growing up, it would be a guy at a desk staring into the camera and reading the news. It was fine.

  • On June 6, 2020 at 7:08 am steve howard said

    The news room of our local daily newspaper has imploded since being purchased by the Gannett monolith a couple years ago. So our local tiny TV station and the university’s student paper regularly have better coverage. It is common to have a significant local wreck or crime that the paper completely whiffs on. The TV station also doesn’t cowtow to the local Democratic machine as much which helps when making decisions at election time.

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