local news

Where’s the local news in our local news?

By ERNIE ZIMMERMANErnie Zimmerman
Palms West Monthly
Posted Aug. 1, 2017

I find myself watching less and less TV these days, and what’s interesting is that many of my friends seem to be turning off the television on a more frequent basis as well.

For me, the main reason I don’t watch much TV anymore is because I can’t find anything that catches my interest or is worth watching.

In other words, and in plain English, most of the shows on TV nowadays just plain stink. And that smell seems to be getting stronger and stronger.

I will admit that I am a news junkie and I do enjoy watching as much news on the television as possible. Yes, I watch an incredible amount of news on TV, but not the cable big shots of CNN, Fox or MSNBC. What I really enjoy watching is the local news.

On any given weekday, you can find me in my man cave watching the news at noon, followed by the 3 p.m. news (the best is on CBS 12) and, of course, the 6 p.m. news on all three local stations.

Then, at 6:30 p.m., I’ll turn on the national news on the three major networks, and then I repeat the whole thing again at 10 and 11 p.m.

I accomplish this pretty impressive feat almost every day, thanks in large part to my trusty remote control. With my remote in hand, I can almost watch the three newscasts without interruption – I haven’t seen a TV commercial on the news in years.

I figure, as long as the remote is working, why bother with the commercials?

However, there is one major problem I have with our local newscasts, and maybe many of the readers out there agree: They don’t show very much local news.

On most evenings, after the first five or six minutes, all the local channels switch to national stories. Or worse, fluff stories. You’d think they’d realize that the national news follows the local news on all three major networks, so they should just stick to news of local interest.

And, of course, they give endless weather reports. Some days they spend more time on the weather than they do on the news of the day. I guess they just don’t get the fact that they could give our local weather in less than 30 seconds.

After all, the weather in these parts is just about the same every day: hot, humid, some clouds and a chance of rain. There, you just got the updated weather report in less than 10 seconds (and I submitted this column weeks ago!).

Why can’t our area TV stations do the same and devote more time to local news?

My other beef with our local news stations is that the reporters keep coming and going.

As I get to like a reporter, all of a sudden they’re no longer on the air. I understand our area is a training ground for reporters and I accept that.

In New York City, however, we never had that issue. Gabe Pressman (may he rest in peace) was one of the reporters who turned me into a news junkie. It just seemed that he and the other New York City reporters were dependable and around forever.

The 3 p.m. news shown on CBS 12 seems to be different than the other newscasts. They offer a lot of local news and short stories and they get right to the point. Why isn’t this type of reporting done on the other local newscasts?

As far as TV shows go, the only show I go out of my way to watch (are you ready for this?) is “Judge Judy.”

Yes, I do believe this is the best judge show on TV. Judge Judy is very good at what she does and the show is very real.

When Judge Judy was a judge in Brooklyn, I was in her courtroom more than once. The way she runs her courtroom on TV is exactly the way she ran her courtroom in Brooklyn. She was one of the best judges I ever saw sitting on the bench.

I’m also glad she hasn’t lost any of her “Brooklyn.” Yeah, she is that good. I guess that is why she’s the highest paid woman on TV. She deserves it.

I’d love to hear from my readers and learn about their TV habits. Feel free to drop me an email at ez@palmswestmonthly.com and tell me what you watch, and if you agree or disagree with me about our local newscasts.

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About Ernie Zimmerman

Ernie, a retired New York City police officer and Vietnam veteran, takes life nice and easy in Wellington, where he and his wife Sharon have lived for more than 30 years.

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