Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Another Shout-Out For Ithaca's Local Broadcast Media

Not long ago we wrote in praise of Ithaca's "Newswatch" program on WHCU-AM radio, and we feel obliged to do it again.

NPR's "Morning Edition" has an air of seriousness that makes listening feel worthwhile. Their stories, however, have a sameness from day to day which counteracts that.

Tomorrow, most likely, they will cover the violence in Mumbai; the auto company bailouts; and Obama administration appointments. We can predict this with some assurance, as they cover these stories every day, with few new details or analysis. They will interview a new round of "experts" to discuss how bad the violence is; how contentious the bailouts; and how wrenching to liberals the Obama appointments so far. And they will say we will have to wait and see how these things all play out.

Meanwhile, WHCU covers these stories with doggedly local details and perspective. Today, they interviewed Maurice Hinchey and Michael Arcuri about the bailouts. They spoke to someone from Ithaca's Borg-Warner company, which makes parts for the auto companies.

They also covered other salient aspects of our local economy: housing and tourism, with interviews of representatives of Better Housing for Tompkins County, and the county's Visitors and Tourism Bureau.

Some years ago, local television news in Ithaca took a hit, when Time Warner cable pulled most of its resources out of the area. But Ithaca College has taken up the slack, with a nightly broadcast on cable channel TV.

IC's resources do not match Time Warner's. But their broadcast, at 7 pm nightly, covers important local stories such as the city's plans for water treatment facilities.

We urge you to vary your habits a bit and follow these shows for a while. We also urge you to contact them with praise or criticism; we know they are interested in opinions of their work.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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