Most of you know that we spent two years living in the beautiful state of South Carolina. We lived just outside the capital city of Columbia, which was nothing unusual for us, since we spent most of our lives living outside the capital city of Boston. Both cities are known for their college population: Columbia with 1 major school, The University of South Carolina, and Boston with a multitude of elite universities. There are also plenty of obvious cultural differences, with Columbia having that southern charm and Boston having it's blue-collar edge. But, one thing I really picked up on while living outside of Columbia was that the local news was quite different down there. The presentation of news in Boston could be considered the "Major Leagues" of production as well as anchor talent, while Columbia would probably be best described as a "Single-A affiliate". The graphics and stories such as "the hard hitting investigation into Billy Bob's chicken farm... and the reason his eggs don't stand up to our scrutiny.... tonight at 11!" seemed a little ridiculous to me when I moved down to SC.
Local news is hard to stomach in my opinion (and even harder to take when it's ultra cheesy), but I do watch it for the weather once in a while. And when a snow storm is on the horizon, New Englanders start to turn on the local news in droves... all wanting to be informed about the potential snow. This is where the extra production power of the Boston local news market goes into high gear. Every newscast is beefed up with graphics, slogans, new tracking technology, and other scare tactics. So, while I admit that I check the latest forecast to see if the snow accumulation forecast has changed, I quickly get tired of the sensationalism of each station.
Here are some headlines from tonight:
WHDH - Ch. 7: Bitter Blast (in big graphic) Winter Double Trouble Heading Toward Region (tag line)
WCVB - Ch. 5: Winter Storm (moderate graphic) 16 counties now under advisories, watches or severe weather warnings (tag line in red)
WBZ - Ch. 4: More Snow & Ice for Thursday, Weekend (larger Text) New England is bracing for not one, but two winter snow storms expected to hit the region Thursday and this weekend. (tag line)
If I have to choose a station to watch local news and weather... I watch WBZ... and not just because former meteorologist Bruce Schwegler came to FACA my senior year of high school and put me and my friends on TV for the evening news... but because it has the best presentation of any local news I've seen anywhere in the country... I promise!