My dog ate the news…

…and why we care much more about local than big media’s excuse for news.

Viewer-ship of the evening news along with the ‘readership’ of the daily newspaper are in steep decline.

The upcoming generation catches most of their news online via the major news organizations, Google or better yet – via Rss feed delivery. The immediacy of digital media and our migration away from linear TV, forcing us to ‘catch’ the evening news at 6 p.m. are just the start. Even the BBC is now being pushed to digital delivery for a fee as the very government that supports it contemplates an end to the funding.

…and local is where it’s at. Lets face it, if it were not for a war we continue to fight in Iraq, or some disparate disaster, most of America would most likely not be interested in much else that happens ‘overseas’. This is a big country and there is more than enough happening here to keep our attention, or distract us from the cold story-telling of the world’s bigger problems. Sad, but true. Our so-called daily, international, evening news is proof of our lack of our worldly interest; with very little of the focus resembling anything international at all…will someone let me know when the weather comes on?

For decades, the power of the networks have also very much been grounded in their local network affiliates. With some rare exceptions, the affiliates always seem like…well…affiliates that will maybe, someday, grow up to be cowboys.

So, if we do not have much interest in the international big picture & the local affiliates aren’t quite doing it…what is?

There is a groundswell of local news productions completely unrelated to any major media organization. These new players, largely unknown to the masses yet, have started to accrue large online viewer-ship in their local markets. This is not your father’s news. It’s a bit of international mixed with very compelling, unique, local stories. Add to that a dash of SNL irreverence, and an “I don’t really need to answer to anyone so I’m just going to say anything I damn well please…”Howard Stern-type of arrogance without fear of consequence.

Sound like fun? Well, it is, and a hell of a lot more fun than the network anchors sequestered behind their desks in their suits and ties, all formal-like, while all they really talk about are kittens up trees.

So, is the next wave really all about local news? And if it is, who better to bring it to us than the locals.

‘Tune in’ to the likes of the rising stars of these local news broadcasts. Commercial-free and full of passion. News has never been so entertaining, heartfelt, and relevant to us.

Two terrific but very different examples of this are:
Rocketboom: www.rocketboom.com
The Young Turks: www.theyoungturks.com

Then there is also the International Broadcast Corp., the first online international television news network: http://www.ibctoday.com/News/Home.aspx

The more interesting news from the major media are actually on iTunes in the form either video or audio pod-casts. Download or stream a diverse range of news starting with ABC World News Video, The BBC World News, The Economist, NPR with Tom Ashbrook, Meet the press, Common Sense with Dan Carlin, or Senator Barack Obama’s weekly podcast.

There’s sure to be more of these local news talents emerging, and funnily enough, they’ve never cared, or made me care more about international.

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