UPDATE: First TV Broadcast And Cable Coverage Of Zimmerman Not Guilty Verdict

By and | Saturday July 13, 2013 @ 7:00pm PDT

2ND UPDATE: The answer depended on where in the country you were watching tonight’s ending to the ‘Stand Your Ground’ case of neighborhood watch George Zimmerman’s fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. But CBS among broadcasters and MSNBC among cable were first to cover the verdict live.

Among broadcasters, ABC News missed live coverage of the verdict but had the most comprehensive coverage. Anchor David Muir was joined live by Chief Legal Anchor Dan Abrams in NY,  Correspondents Matt Gutman and Gio Benitez outside of the Seminole County courthouse in Sanford, and Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas in Washington DC. A Special Edition of 20/20 continued until 11 PM ET with a complete look at the trial. According to TVNewser, CBS was first on the air at 9:58 PM during the closing credits of 48 Hours in the Eastern and Central time zones for a very brief special anchored by Jim Axelrod. Then on NBC Lester Holt anchored a blink-and-you-missed-it special report interrupting the final seconds of a TV movie while the verdict was being read. And ABC first joined as the jurors were being polled: the network was showing the canceled 666 Park Avenue and promoted the live verdict in a news crawl.

By contrast there was blanket coverage all today on HLN, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC which reported the verdict at 9:49:00 followed by CNN at 9:49:55 and FNC at 21:50:11. FNC’s Harris Faulkner anchored when the verdict was read and following the announcement. Live coverage and analysis continued with Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren both phoning into the program. Plans are still fluid but FNC will remain live until 1 AM Sunday for more guest analysis. All cable news have seen ratings spike because Read More »

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Bad News For Network And Local TV News

If you care about news, then the Pew Research Center’s latest annual State Of The News Media report will make you want to cry. Providers across all platforms became “more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into [their] hands,” Pew’s Project for Excellence In Journalism finds. The shortcomings stood out during the election when “campaign reporters were acting primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans.”

Even in a year with an exciting presidential election the collective audience for ABC, CBS and NBC’s evening newscasts fell 2% to 22.1M “resuming the downward trajectory of nearly three decades” after an uptick in 2011. Total audience for local TV newscasts — the nation’s #1 news source – shrank last year in all key time slots except for early morning and across stations aligned with all the networks, resuming a downward trend that seemed to have ended in 2011. Viewing of the evening newscasts that aired between 5:00 and 7:00 PM at the major network affiliates fell 7% last year. One reason: young people are tuning out. About 28% of adults under 30 regularly watched local news last year, down from 42% in 2006. Local news devoted 40% of air time to sports, weather, and traffic, up from 32% in 2005. And just 20% of the stories last year ran at least a minute, down from 31% a decade ago. Read More »

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YouTube News Viewers Flock To Natural Disasters And Political Upheaval: Study

By | Sunday July 15, 2012 @ 9:16pm PDT

Last year’s tsunami in Japan, the elections in Russia, and turmoil in the Middle East were the most popular topics for news watchers on YouTube in the 15 months that ended in March, according to a new … Read More »

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Public Confidence In TV News Hits All-Time Low: Gallup

By | Tuesday July 10, 2012 @ 2:21pm PDT

Just 21% of adults say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in TV news, down from 27% last year — and the lowest percentage since Gallup started taking the poll in 1993 — … Read More »

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News Media Are Becoming Less Uncivil, But Are Still Pretty Bad: Survey

By | Wednesday June 13, 2012 @ 7:44am PDT

Media organizations received mixed grades this morning from the disturbing yet fascinating Civility in America annual survey measuring opinions about how people and institutions deal with each other. The third report on the subject from PR firm Weber Shandwick and … Read More »

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Can TV Investigative Reporting Evolve Beyond ’60 Minutes’?

By | Tuesday April 10, 2012 @ 12:59pm PDT

In the news game they were called The Wrinklies, the old men who for years dominated TV news at 60 Minutes. Now they’re dying off. Don Hewitt, Ed Bradley, Andy Rooney — and, this past weekend, Mike Wallace. Obituaries rightly celebrate these men’s substantial accomplishments. Wallace and his colleagues adapted the news documentary formula to make it engaging for TV viewers, and kept them coming back week after week. But if newscasters want to celebrate that legacy, then they need to stop emulating the reporting style that the 60 Minutes team developed 44 years ago and find different ways to make investigative reporting relevant and sustainable. Read More »

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R.I.P. Gil Noble

By | Thursday April 5, 2012 @ 1:00pm PDT

The host and producer of Like It Is, an influential public affairs show that aired on New York’s WABC, died today, about eight months after suffering from a stroke. He was 80. Noble joined the ABC flagship station in … Read More »

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TV News Broke Its Losing Streak In Action-Packed 2011: Study

By | Sunday March 18, 2012 @ 9:01pm PDT

This is one of the first times in years that TV journalists and executives won’t need a box of Kleenex nearby when they read the Pew Research Center’s encyclopedic and authoritative annual State Of The News Media Report, which will be released today. Broadcast networks, cable news networks, and local TV stations all showed signs of improvement in 2011 as people became riveted by stories about Arab Spring, the death of Osama bin Laden, the shooting in Tucson of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Britain’s royal wedding, and the tsunami in Japan, according to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The audience for the major networks’ newscasts increased for the first time since 2001. Cable news viewing also was up, a relief after a huge slide in 2010. And local news gained ground, ending a five-year decline. To be sure, traditional news providers across the board still haven’t figured out how to make money in digital media. And last year they “lost more ground to rivals in the technology industry,” Pew says. The audience for online news sources grew 17.2% while revenues were up 23.0%, Still, researchers say that “news is becoming a more important and pervasive part of people’s lives” — and that “could prove a saving factor for the future of journalism.” Here are some of the highlights for TV news: Read More »

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Study: TV Advertisers Snub Newscasters’ Web Sites

By | Sunday February 12, 2012 @ 9:01pm PST

This is a big problem for traditional news outlets, including broadcast and cable TV, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Advertising dollars are moving so quickly to the Web that by … Read More »

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Pew: TV Falling As Political News Source

By | Tuesday February 7, 2012 @ 10:41am PST

Only 69% of adults turned to the tube first for election news last month, the lowest percentage in at least 20 years, according to the weekly surveys taken for the Pew Research Center’s News Interest Index. The latest figure is  down from 72% four years ago, 78% in 2004, and 86% in 2000. Broadcasters are seeing the biggest losses. Just 32% of adults cited local TV news as their primary source for election news, down from 40% four years ago. The national nightly newscasts were down to 26% from 32%. Cable news channels held relatively steady at 36%, down from 38%. As you might imagine, a lot of people now are turning to the Internet for their political news fix.  It passed newspapers to become the No. 2 source of election news, with 34% turning first to the Web vs 26% in the 2008 campaign and 13% in 2004. CNN.com ranked first for politics junkies on the Internet, followed by Yahoo News and Google News. Only 22% picked Read More »

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Study: Tablet Owners Love Using Them For News, As Long As They Don’t Have To Pay

By | Tuesday October 25, 2011 @ 9:50am PDT

This is sure to chill all of the newspaper and magazine companies that thought subscribers would return to the fold once the content became available on the sexy mobile devices. The finding comes from the most detailed study yet of the … Read More »

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Report: TV Station Newscasts Vulnerable As Viewers Turn To Smartphones For Local Info

By | Sunday September 25, 2011 @ 9:01pm PDT

The TV station business is becoming tougher by the day, but here’s something that could make things painful: The broadcasters’ biggest cash cow, their local newscasts, could lose lots of viewers as people discover that they can find … Read More »

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Fox News Suspends Contributors Newt Gingrich And Rick Santorum

By | Wednesday March 2, 2011 @ 3:08pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Fox has suspending two of its paid contributors with presidential aspirations, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, for 60 days. If the two don’t declare by May 1 that they won’t be running for president, their contracts will be terminated. Remaining on payroll at Fox News are two other potential presidential … Read More »

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CBS News Correspondent Lara Logan Sexually Assaulted While Covering Egypt Revolution

Nellie Andreeva

In what is the most gruesome attack against an U.S. journalist in Egypt so far, CBS News is reporting that its chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan suffered “a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating” on Friday, the day … Read More »

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David Muir Named Sole Anchor Of ABC’s ‘World News’ Weekend Editions

By | Monday February 14, 2011 @ 10:30am PST
Nellie Andreeva

David Muir has been named the sole anchor of the weekend edition of ABC’s World News. He had already been anchoring World News Saturday. Now he will also take over the Sunday editions, and the weekend broadcasts will be named World News with David Muir. Muir has been … Read More »

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Fox News Tops Ratings For Egypt Coverage

Nellie Andreeva

CNN’s former dominance in coverage of major international crises is long gone. Fox News leads the cable news ratings for the coverage of the unrest in Egypt so far by a wide margin, but the continuous coverage of the turmoil … Read More »

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Cairo Assault On Fox News: “They Hit Us With Their Fists, Sticks, Bars, Rocks”

Nellie Andreeva

Fox News correspondent Greg Palkot, who, along with his camerman were badly beaten by demonstrators in Cairo on Wednesday, this morning gave a pretty fascinating firsthand account of the events in a post on foxnews.com. Here it is:

CAIRO, Egypt –  It was Wednesday afternoon. We were covering the clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters near Tahrir or Liberation Square in Cairo.

A short time after we started our shooting, cameraman Olaf Wiig was threatened by a small group of pro-Mubarak thugs.

We ducked down an alley. It turned out to be a dead end, so we dashed into a nearby building.

At first it was a perfect vantage point to cover the street battle. Then it quickly turned into a battle station for the pro-government side.

Read More »

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More Violence Against U.S. Journalists In Egypt: ABC News Crew Carjacked

Nellie Andreeva

Egypt is rapidly becoming a very dangerous place for foreign journalists. On the heels of the attacks on Fox News’ Greg Palkot, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour, an NBC News crew has been carjacked by a group of angry Egyptian men and threatened with beheading. … Read More »

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Fox News Team Severely Beaten, Hospitalized In Cairo

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE FRIDAY: Greg Palkot this morning wrote a pretty fascinating firsthand account of the ordeal. Read it here:

PREVIOUS: FOX News Channel’s veteran foreign correspondent Greg Palkot and his camerman Olaf Wiig have suffered severe injuries in … Read More »

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