Local TV news operations share with their newspaper counterparts severe challenges as a result of the growth of the Internet and their response to those challenges -- largely laying off journalists and other staff members -- has made them unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Despite the fact that 2012 was an election year, audiences for local newscasts fell 6.5 percent, mostly among younger viewers. Despite the drop in ratings, advertising was up in 2012 thanks largely to the fact that it was an election year. The result, the Pew study observed is that local TV stations are devoting more time to in-studio interviews, traffic, and sports and less to location reports and investigative features.