A study of local news broadcast by the eight Los Angeles TV stations in August and September of last year has disclosed that while stations devote almost three minutes of each half hour to crime stories, they air just 22 seconds devoted to local government and 29 seconds to local business and the economy. The study, conducted by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism's Norman Lear Center and underwritten by the Los Angeles Civic Alliance, found that sports and weather took up the most time -- more than three and a half minutes. What the study called "miscellaneous fluff" accounted for nearly two and a half minutes, while teasers ("Coming up next...") took up two minutes and 10 seconds. Moreover, the study observed, the lead story for one out of three broadcasts, concerned crime. Just one out of 10 concerned the Los Angeles area wildfires that occurred during the period of the study; just one out of a hundred lead stories concerned the unfolding budget crisis.

11/03/2010