You are the news director of a local television station. The city council has just voted to close city parks 3 days a week to save money. Meanwhile, a major celebrity has died. The park story has greater effect on your viewers, but the celebrity death will get bigger ratings? Which do you make your lead story and why?
As a viewer I would normally say put the park story first 100 percent. This is local broadcast I want to hear about information that affects me directly. This is not the case, though. As a news director I would put the story of the celebrity death in the lead position for the higher ratings. This may not seem like the best choice, but it is a numbers game. The good thing that may come out of leading with the passing of the celebrity is that more viewers will learn about the closures at the city parks, since they will be tuning in anyway. It is this channels responsibility to get the news out to the public, but it is the director’s choice of what order that news will be seen. It is also likely that the national stations, internet, and radio will be reporting the story as well. This can mean some viewers may already be aware of celebrity death, but ultimately the city park story can run behind it. It is just not as attention getting as the other story. This may not have been the case fifty or seventy-five years ago. Since the news traveled much slower then, the local happenings would be much more in the forefront, with national headlines taking longer to reach faraway places. This just shows how media has changed over the last century. It will disappoint various viewers who may be tired of hearing about the death who then turn on the local station and see it again, but that is both the advantage and disadvantage of how the media is delivered in this day and age. We can learn about news almost instantly (advantage), but with every type of media outlet reporting on the most recent buzz, it can also become redundant very quickly as well...
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