Few Commercials, Little Small Talk, a Good Night for the News

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I actually found the news to show fewer commercials than I expected.  My expectations were lots of commercials, little news, and lots of stupid small talk between the news anchors.  Instead, when I hunkered down to watch the 11 o’clock news, I was pleasantly surprised.  The news stories themselves actually took up about 23 of the 30 minute news segment.  Furthermore, most of the news related specifically to Pittsburgh, there were only a few such as those on Ted Kennedy, Michael Vick, and a girl that got kidnapped and has now been reunited with her family that were not there.  The amount of small talk between the news anchors was also kept to a minimum (which is always good).  There were a few moments before the weather and near the end of the half hour where they talked, but other than that they mostly stuck to the news.  I did notice that there was a proportionally larger amount of time given to sports (particularly Steelers) related stories.  There was a lot of time spent on advertising stories that were “coming up,” but otherwise the majority of the time seemed to be spent on news.  And best of all, there were no references to Michael Jackson. 

As for the WTAE job description versus the characteristics of a journalist according to the news manual, I found the two to have some similarities.  They both require someone who can communicate a story well to other people.  However, if you look at some words from the WTAE job description such as: “high impact [pieces],” “highly promotable [pieces],” and “sizzle” as compared to the manual’s “friendly” and “polite,” the real focus of the two becomes clear.  The manual is focusing on the integrity of the field, while WTAE is searching for someone to boost their ratings and make them money. 

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