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Letter: Buffalo media is failing the critical news test

If you rely on Buffalo media for important news, you’re not getting it. Over the years, Buffalo media has displaced hard news in favor of fluff, seemingly designed for fifth graders. On the heels of another sober climate warning from the United Nation, the naturalist and TV host Sir David Attenborough, told a climate conference that climate change – already catastrophic – could soon cause the collapse of civilizations. On that same day, Channel 4 tweeted a pressing question to its viewers: Would you like to sample pickle flavored ice cream?

In Buffalo, weather forecasts are dispensed like candy. Weather is dispensed in small segments such as quick forcast, current conditions, tomorrow’s forecast, traffic forecast, school closures, five-day forecast, long range forecast and stay tuned for the full forecast. Meanwhile hurricanes and fires are wiping entire towns off the map but climate change is almost never mentioned in Buffalo.

Years ago, the TV news mantra was “If it bleeds it leads,” but today that test has changed. If the story results in “Awww…” it leads. Puppies and kitties plucked from drain pipes lead while mass extinctions are not newsworthy. Ask viewers which leader is responsible for the murder and dismemberment of a Washington Post writer? They won’t know. Ask readers where 85,000 children have died from starvation and another 4 million people are starving. Won’t know. (Hint: the USA is partly to blame.)

Buffalo morning shows boast that they want to “…get you out the door with a smile.” Their mission should be information not entertainment.

We cannot continue the dumbing-down of America.

Buffalo is starving for information. News! Not smiles, not beer, not fluff, just news. To borrow a tag line from PBS “Don’t be afraid of being smart.”

Bob Catalano


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