Comment 30460

By Hummer (anonymous) | Posted April 24, 2009 at 13:07:35

The shame belongs to city media. This time I'm not whyning about The Spec. They've improved small, local event coverage somewhat, and should be encouraged in that direction.

But I laugh and cry too when I listen to the problems at CHCH and it's corporate ownership, where local coverage consists largely of local talking heads reciting stories off the wire, with scant attention to the Hammer's street-level events. Every one of Toronto's CITY newscast used to include an "in the club" feature. Don't know if they still do that since ownership changed, but something like that is not part of Hamilton broadcasting so far as I'm aware.

Local sports coverage includes Ti-Cat scores, of course, but how often does a reporter get out to the T-ball park or the local rink? How often does local minor-league sports news hit the airwaves?

I don't listen to local radio. When I stopped it was partially because I could hear more locals on the Toronto CBC radio than in the often nationally programmed mix on Hamilton stations. How often does any commercial station in Hamilton broadcast a local concert? At any level?

Local coverage has fallen largely to CFMU and Cable 14, who provide yoeman, though amateur service. That's not a knock. Amateur is legitimate by me, but resources are limited. And yet they do a better job of covering the varied interests of local citizens than do the affiliates of national networks, and that is why audiences shift to them and internet-related media, and why advertisers are slowly following.

CHCH used to run its weekly Dance Party. CITY used to have the Electric Circus. CHCH once had Tiny Talent Time. CHCH broadcast once Junior hockey too. These shows are little more than the butt of more sophisticated jokes now, but at the time local broadcasters were important parts of the local social scene, in addition to their commercial roles. And small local businesses could afford to fill many of the advertising time-slots too.

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