Observations on local TV news

I haven't had a TV in more than a year. As a college student on a budget, cable is not something I necessarily want to pay for, and all my favorite TV shows are online anyway. I'm currently visiting my boyfriend in San Diego, and for the first time in a long time I've actually been watching the evening news. It's not an experience I particularly enjoy.

Each night, I've listened to the same news that I read online at 10 a.m.. For example, last night's big political story was about a speech Obama gave on education. I got the CNN alert for that very story in my e-mail inbox at 11:09 a.m..

So I'm really wondering what people get out of watching news on TV. The local perspective? The sense of community? Entertainment value? Broadcast news isn't feeling the hit that print is in the online era.

What I'll be interested to see in upcoming years is how that sense of "community" from local news stations will be replaced online. Although Rob Curley hopefuls would like to say hyperlocal additions to news sites is the answer, that proved to be a failure.

In June, the Wall Street Journal attributed that failure to a lack of community connection:

One reason: the team of outsiders didn't do enough to familiarize itself with Loudoun County or engage its 270,000 residents.

Four months after Curley left the Washington Post, LoudounExtra.com still exists as a hyperlocal addition to the newspaper.

Still, somehow, people would rather watch two annoying talking heads on a TV screen read old news with a smile.