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Other stations also reach out to viewers and promote charitable causes. Every station aired multiple stories about a fundraiser for the family of an Ogden police officer killed in the line of duty a year ago.
And KUTV anchors Mark Koelbel and Shauna Lake spoke of being "inspired" by a story of a triathlete helping a boy with cerebral palsy, although without reference to faith and blessings. The station also ran a feature about the Osmond Girls singers — a way of saying Mormon without saying Mormon.
Newscast analysis: Who’s airing what?
Salt Lake Tribune television critic Scott D. Pierce analyzed five nights of newscasts (Feb. 18-22) on four Utah TV stations: the 10 p.m. news on KUTV-Channel 2, KTVX-Channel 4 and KSL-Channel 5, and the 9 p.m. newscast on KSTU-Channel 13. The block of days was selected randomly within the recent ratings period, which ended Feb. 27. Weather and sports segments weren’t included unless specifically noted.
KSTU reporter Zach Whitney, again, proclaimed his religious affiliation in the midst of reporting a story.
Investigative journalism? » If investigations aren’t dead on local TV news, they certainly aren’t what they used to be.
In its heyday, KSL conducted investigations, exposed corruption and broke news. During the week in question, it labeled two stories (each running multiple nights) as "investigations." The first was about texting and driving; the second was about video-game addiction.
Neither broke news. (Channel 4 also did a story about texting and driving.)
The KSL segments were legitimate stories, but both looked more like a "Get Gephardt" segment on Channel 2 than "investigative journalism."
Go Cougars? » KSL and Brigham Young University are both owned by the LDS Church, but there was no cheerleading for the Cougars on Channel 5 newscasts.
On the other hand, the stations’ three competitors led their Feb. 19 sportscasts with the results of the Jazz-Warriors game, while KSL led with the BYU-Utah State men’s basketball game.
On Feb. 21, Channels 2 and 4 reported on the Utah-Colorado men’s basketball game (which had concluded) before the still-in-progress BYU-Saint Mary’s game; Channel 5 reversed that. (Both games were in progress and Channel 13 reported neither.)
Hyperlocal » There’s a reason these are called local newscasts. During the week, the four stations aired 211 local stories, 39 national stories and 10 international stories.
Five of those international stories were Channel 13’s "World in a Minute" features (a quick series of headlines counted as a single story in this tally); four were updates on Oscar Pistorius’ attempts to get bailed out of jail after he was charged with killing his girlfriend.
News you can use » With its nightly "Get Gephardt" segment, Channel 2 leads in this category with five stories. But it’s worth noting that Channel 5 aired four segments in the same time period.
Defining the news » Not once in five nights did all four newscasts lead with the same story.Next Page >
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