Are you an avid consumer of local news?
Yeah. Because, you know, we’ve all got to see the storm report.
-Michael Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
The FCC Chairman is a typical viewer: By a large margin, weather holds the most interest for local news viewers and listeners. Over 60 percent of both men and women named the weather as the subject in which they were very interested, far more than any other subject area, according to a survey for the Radio-Television News Directors Association.
But news must be more than weather: The second most important subject, again by a wide margin, was local news. More than national news, politics, sports, entertainment or traffic, Americans want local news.
But how well do local broadcasters and Web sites address this need?
How well do they address the fundamental local issues that enable an informed citizenry to make choices on election day?
That is the subject of this report.