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Posted inCT Viewpoints

An outbreak of ‘If-true-itis’

Ben Bogardus. An outbreak of “if true-itis” is spreading through newsrooms across the country.  It peaked last Friday, when BuzzFeed News posted an article claiming Special Counsel Robert Mueller had evidence President Donald Trump told his former lawyer to lie to congress.  The story instantly spread around the world, via social media. “If true,” many […]

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Don’t blame the meteorologists for hyping the ‘Snor’easter’

Last week’s Nor’easter was supposed to be one of the biggest of the year – bringing 15 inches of snow to Connecticut, according to some television meteorologists.  Schools closed early, businesses sent workers home, and plows stood ready on the sides of highways.  But this storm, unlike the one two weeks prior, never lived up to the hype. That caused a lot of TV weather crews to get a lot of criticism on social media. But this anger is misplaced.  Don’t blame the meteorologists! 

Posted inCT Viewpoints

It’s ‘anchors away’ at national and Connecticut news outlets

The past few weeks have seen the biggest upheaval in years in morning television. On Nov. 21, CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose was fired after the Washington Post reported on his sexually-oriented behavior towards at least eight female co-workers. Then, eight days later, NBC fired long-time Today Show anchor Matt Lauer after a newsroom staffer told similar stories about his behavior behind closed and locked office doors. NBC political analyst Mark Halperin, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and former Today Show personality Billy Bush also lost their jobs in the last year or so, because of similar circumstances. But the firings of these “anchors behaving badly” isn’t limited to the networks. Here in Connecticut, local stations have also had to deal with anchors doing things they shouldn’t do.

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Thank a journalist this Labor Day week

Workers across Connecticut are enjoying a shortened week, thanks to the Labor Day holiday.  But as we honor the work of everyday men and women, let’s give a special thanks to one group that’s had a tough time recently: local TV news reporters and producers.  It’s a job that, despite what the president says, isn’t at all “fake news!”

Posted inCT Viewpoints

A ‘conspiracy’ for higher ratings — at Newtown’s expense

NBC’s newest multi-million-dollar anchor is about to give America – and Connecticut in particular – a lesson in journalistic ethics. It’s a fight that pits the network’s need for ratings and publicity against the pleas of Sandy Hook parents not to cause them more pain. This weekend, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly plans to air an interview with conspiracy website author and radio host Alex Jones. In one of his more outlandish theories, Jones has called the monstrous shooting “a giant hoax.” No one died there, the theory goes. Instead, the government hired actors to pretend there was a shooting, in order to increase support for gun control, Jones claimed.

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‘Shop local’ when it comes to TV news

“Shop Local” is a phrase you hear a lot when it comes to shopping for food and holiday gifts. The theory is that you get higher-quality products when you buy from people you know, and help support the local economy at the same time. But “shopping local” could soon be a lot more difficult when it comes to watching TV news in Connecticut.

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A media blob has come to Connecticut

Like it or not, a Connecticut television station is now part of a media conglomerate. The Federal Communications Commission just approved the sale of Media General’s New Haven-based ABC affiliate WTNH to Nexstar Media Group, as part of a larger $4.6 billion merger involving TV stations around the country. The deal officially closed on Tuesday. Nexstar now owns more than 170 stations covering 39 percent of American households. That’s the maximum percentage allowed by the FCC.

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‘News Year’ resolutions for Connecticut TV in 2017

We’re going to see a lot of changes in Connecticut television news in 2017. New Haven’s ABC affiliate, WTNH, is getting a new owner for the second time in two years. WFSB, the state’s top-rated news station, is reportedly cutting back on sports coverage – eliminating dedicated sportscasts at 6 p.m., and instead only giving sports a few minutes of coverage at 11 p.m., and only on Wednesdays through Sundays. And News 12 Connecticut plans to begin broadcasting its shows from studios in New Jersey, starting in March.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Escape the media ‘echo chamber’

Were you surprised at how the presidential election turned out? Your answer probably depends on which candidate you supported. Many Democrats were shocked at Hillary Clinton’s loss. But a lot of Republicans claim they saw Donald Trump’s win coming for a long time. How can both reactions be right? The answer is that many people are trapped inside “media echo chambers.”