FCC Commissioner Michael Copps has expressed deep concern over the initial findings of a content analysis of local newscasts in the Los Angeles market.
The findings, part of an ongoing study conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s Norman Lear Center and the Department of Public and Healthcare Administration at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, reveal crime stories dominate the lead news slot of newscasts of eight area stations, while coverage of local government issues is minimal.
“I was worried before the study was released,” Copps said in a press statement released on the commission’s Web site. “Now, I’m flat out alarmed.”
Copps called for the findings to be incorporated into the ongoing work of the commission on assessing the information needs of communities in a digital era. Saying the findings provide evidential and not anecdotal information on local news broadcasts, Copps described the results as “most troubling.”
“The digital divide continues to separate our lower-income, less-educated members of society from broadband media, and we simply cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the media that those Americans without broadband are receiving,” he said in the statement.