Sacramento Weekly World News & Review

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Breaking News: Officer Down

The joke has been that missing white women get all the news coverage, but in Sacramento, dead police officers are our number one story. Sure if the missing white woman is from somewhere nearby like Modesto we'll get bombarded with coverage, maybe even theme music to go along with it. As I get sidetracked, I remember a week or two ago a story about breaking news reported as being related to the Christine Wilson case: a bag had been found that was, at the time of the report, not linked to the case, but somehow it was still breaking news about the case. Unfortunately, I don't pay enough attention to the case to know if it ended up being tied to it. Incidentally, I notice a lot of people at work talk about the case. Maybe this is the kind of story people want, but I still have hope that it's just that they get so much of it on the news that it eventually becomes important to them.

Fighting the ADD, I regress, back to the point about dead police officers. Especially when they die in the line of duty, be it murder, helicopter crash, etc.., local news stations seem to engage in an implicit bet on who can devote the most airtime to the death. Not only are the regular news broadcasts filled with coverage of the death, but news conferences that add little if any to the abundant coverage break in to regular tv programming throughout the day.

And just wait until the day of the funeral. My theory is that the best time to commit a crime is during the funeral for a police officer. Have you seen all the law enforcement that show up for these things? Of course you have, because KCRA, KXTV, and KOVR broadcast live the procession of officer-filled cars as they drive down the highway during these things while offering commentary that makes segue banter look inciteful. I bet if a study was done on local tv news break-ins during regular programming, an overwhelming majority in this town would be due to law enforcement deaths.

Is this coverage market-driven or what? I don't know anyone that wants to see this on tv. Too much crime content is a common complaint of local tv news coverage. Maybe if the local stations could treat every white woman or law enforcement murder like the NHIs they gloss over, we could get more stories that actually mean something to us.


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