Media

Merulla: CH News Should Address Council Over Programming Cuts

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 27, 2008

Councillor Sam "Have You Seen My Press Release" Merulla just issued a press release to advise that he will be asking the December 8, 2008 Committee of the Whole to put representatives from CHCH News on the hot seat over the station's proposed cuts to local news programming.

Much as I dislike seeing any reduction in local news coverage, I'm frankly not sure what Merulla is hoping to accomplish by asking CHTV News to address Council, other than possibly to score some rhetorical points. It's not as though Council can somehow simply compel Canwest Digital Media, the owners of CHTV, to increase their budget for local coverage.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 27, 2008 at 11:39:28

who needs local news when we can watch stories about the latest divorce or drug bust in Hollywood??

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By gullchasedship (registered) - website | Posted November 27, 2008 at 14:58:36

If he wants local news, he can try to convince city hall to pay CH to run it. I'm sure that would interest CH.

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By Bee (anonymous) | Posted November 27, 2008 at 19:29:58

They can start by getting rid of that silly helicopter. Does anyone care what the highways are like when they're sitting at home?

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By who cares (anonymous) | Posted November 28, 2008 at 11:15:25

This is just another step in the grand scheme of suburbanizing Hamilton in the GTA.
Electrifried Rail link to the 'big city', Toronto-only media coverage, and the obvious (Hamilton) block of a real pro sports team...
Get ready, Hamilton... get ready to cheer on your Greater Toronto Arrrrrgos!

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By who cares (anonymous) | Posted November 28, 2008 at 11:44:51

This is just another step in the grand scheme of suburbanizing Hamilton in the GTA.
Electrifried Rail link to the 'big city', Toronto-only media coverage, and the obvious (Hamilton) block of a real pro sports team...
Get ready, Hamilton... get ready to cheer on your Greater Toronto Arrrrrgos!

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted December 01, 2008 at 01:14:46

After trying unsucessfully several times to find out what happened when a transport truck was hit by several cars, or trying to find out about a police chase onto Main St. W, from the 403, (one of the 5 persuit vehicles nearly took out my car) I've given up on local news coverage on CH TV.

(I'm quite sure both of these incidents would have had coverage in Toronto media or anywhere else. 6 cars stuck in the side of a tractor trailer..how can your ignore that?! A police chase involving several persuit cars, several regular police vehicles, & a tracker SUV with all the gadgets on the top that heads literally "Right Down Main Street" @ top speed in rush hour traffic?)

The explanation is always the same. "We didn't hear about that", or "We don't have enough reporters to cover everything".
These may be completely correct assessments of the situation, but it doesn't change the fact that the kind of things that impact & interest the general public do not get covered.

(After a number of cover-ups have been reported long after the fact, people tend to become more cynical about local news coverage in general. And there are the stories that are dragged out for weeks for spin value, or perhaps the reporter's bias?)

The only local news that seems to be reported in most local media, not just CH TV, is the 'spinnable' type of story. These one-size-fits-all stories generally assign blame, or teach us a moral lesson, or take a simple incident & try to attach it directly to other more newsworthy incidents that may or may not be related. It fills space, but surely there ought to be more to local news reporting than filling in 1/2 hour on t.v. or filling in space in a newspaper? Viewers & readers recognize this, & tend to be turned off by it.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted December 01, 2008 at 01:25:18

To quote 'Who Cares': "This is just another step in the grand scheme of suburbanizing Hamilton in the GTA.
Electrifried Rail link to the 'big city', Toronto-only media coverage, and the obvious (Hamilton) block of a real pro sports team...
Get ready, Hamilton... get ready to cheer on your Greater Toronto Arrrrrgos!"

Well, W.C., I care. How can you say that better reporting of local, Hamilton, & GHA news panders to Toronto? If people can be better informed about what's happening locally, they won't just give up & turn to CBC, CFTO, CNN - or anybody who can give them decent news coverage.
If local media doesn't/can't cover The Ti-Cats better than the Argos, then something is absolutely wrong.

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By CH Blues (anonymous) | Posted December 01, 2008 at 08:27:03

"The explanation is always the same. 'We didn't hear about that', or 'We don't have enough reporters to cover everything'." So let's fix it by cutting even more reporters! CH sucks.

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