Saturday, August 09, 2014

Local 10 is 're-defining' broadcast journalism in South Florida...and the future looks bleak

Silliness like this at Local 10 is helping to kill off what's left of
the station's reputation as a place to go 

for serious broadcast journalism. 

Last night, WPLG Local 10 offered its viewers a glimpse into the future.

Five minutes into the 11 o'clock news - a TV station's equivalent of a newspaper's front page - Local 10's producers treated viewers to this bit of nonsense ... a story about a woman whose dog sustained "gruesome injuries" while it was being groomed at a Petsmart. (The dog was nicked twice.)

And "reporter" Tamika Bickham was all over this story: "Now [Penny] Brunet, who lives in Canada, is stuck in South Florida unable to fly because of her dog's condition, hoping in 10 days everything will be OK," Bickham reported breathlessly as though she were updating viewers on the condition of a president who had just survived an assassination attempt.

Anyone who owns a pet feels for Brunet. But this ain't news. Sh*t happens.

So how does crap like this end up as one of the top stories on a TV station's late news?

An educated guess is that Brunet called the station. Isn't that your first instinct when your dog is call a TV station?

But, if you watch TV news on a regular basis, get used to this. Because dumb-downed swill like this is more and more often taking the place of serious journalism that South Florida stations once practiced.

Need more proof?

Local 10 last month dispatched a helicopter, a reporter, a photographer, and a live truck to cover the "story" of a girl who had stepped on a garden snake. 


Now this is a scary thought:
Local 10's Constance Jones is a role model for
the station's "future broadcastors."

Local 10 still has reporters who know how to tell a story - veterans Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg come to mind.

But in order to see their reporting, the station's producers and news managers are forcing serious news consumers to wade through piles of putrid garbage to see it. Bickham's story last night is a prime example.

Have you ever wondered why there aren't more reporters like Putney and Milberg on Local 10?

That's because the station is too busy hiring former NFL cheerleaders instead of journalists.

Local 10 now has the dubious distinction of being the only station in Miami with three, count 'em, three, former NFL cheerleaders on its payroll. The station's few remaining real journalists are now forced to compete with bimbos in sleeveless cocktail dresses for precious air time.

And then there's the "It's all about me" crowd at Local 10.

It wasn't that long ago that the job of a journalist was document history and tell the stories of other people. But in the age of Twitter and Facebook some at Local 10 believe they are the story. Along with their 5-inch heels.

Bickham - who apparently believes she's the TV news version of Kim Kardashian - actually posted these two photos on Instagram a week ago.

Welcome to "reporter" Tamika Bickham's world where 
it's all about, "Me! Me! Me!"
(Click here to enlarge.)

Local 10's Tamika Bickham wants you to know she's ready to take her
place in history - wearing 5-inch heels - beside George Washington, 

Rosa Parks and the first men on the moon. 

Local 10's Todd Tongen: "We'll get to the news in a minute...
right after I show you what an idiot looks like."

(Click here to enlarge.)

Constance Jones is one of those working hard to kill off the last 
remaining vestiges of serious broadcast journalism at Local 10. 
(Note how similar this pose is to Bickham's pose in 
the photo above.) 

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