In Chicago, local television news has gone to the dogs – and various other animals.
I discovered this strange fact one recent night when I watched the local Fox affiliate (not to be confused by Fox News or Fox Business).
Most local television news in Chicago starts at 10 p.m. and lasts for 30 minutes. The Fox folks start at 9 p.m. and continue for a full hour.
With that much extra time, you might think Fox would do some really in-depth reporting…root out corruption…brings us scenes of crime and tragedy from around the world…reveal the ins and outs of politics.
Instead, I watched several weather segments with amazing graphics that presented very simple information in a very complicated manner. Despite all sorts of spinning symbols, swirling arrows, flashing lights and pulsating maps, all I learned was the projected temperature, wind and precipitation for the next day.
I had always heard that the motto of local news is “if it bleeds it leads.” Instead, Fox treated me to no less than four stories about animals:
- The Coast Guard rescued two dogs from a marooned boat. They did mention that two people were rescued, but the focus was on man’s best friends, although the rescued humans were women.
- There was an update on a coyote pup that had been injured and now lives with a foster coyote mom and her pup, which is now his step-brother pup.
- Apple has a fancy new store that is all glass, with trees inside and gleaming lights at night. Apple customers love it. Unfortunately, birds keep flying into the glass and dying. This at least was a semblance of news; I learned that there is an organization of bird lovers who go around downtown Chicago looking for dead bird who may have flown into a building.
- A pair of intrepid police officers tracked down an escaped pet rabbit and returned it to its forlorn owner.
Animals are important, valuable and sometimes cute. Still, this didn’t seem like news and I decided I wouldn’t watch this report again.
But I may have been rash in that decision. After all, reports must be coming about cats, rats, fish and frog.