The Storyline of the Bottom Line

If you've ever wondered why local television news is so often so bad, the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) has the answer. PEJ surveyed local news directors and rated local television news in 14 cities. The first of a number of very troubling findings -- 53 percent of the news directors "reported advertisers try to tell them what to air and not to air and they say the problem is growing." The pressure to do puff pieces is constant and routine. The directors complained that consultants hired to improve ratings tell the journalists what to and what not to cover to maximize advertising revenue.