LA Times compares its scores with TV networks

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I like to see this. Maybe the competitive juices will generate some improvement in health news coverage.

A Los Angeles Times blog post – reporting on our announcement yesterday that won’t do regular reviews of TV health news anymore – then compared the Times’ scores with the TV networks.

Their lede:

Need more evidence that you should get your information about new developments in medicine from reliable news outlets such as the Los Angeles Times rather than from TV? We offer you the following.

And then they went on to post the scorecard:

Average TV networks’ score: 2.1 stars out of 5 possible
Average LA Times score: 3.84 stars out of 5 possible

Let the healthy competition begin.

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September 2, 2009 at 9:56 am

Isn’t this like expecting a child in kindergarten to write a coherent five-paragraph essay?
Can we expect TV to provide the same level of detail and accuracy and sound judgment that a print story can? Or do time constraints on TV make that impossible?
If you read the text of a 1000-word print story out loud, how long does it take?

Gary Schwitzer

September 2, 2009 at 10:06 am

It doesn’t require 1,000 words to do an excellent health news piece. We’ve given our top scores to some 500-word print stories.
And when you count the words in a transcript of some of the TV morning health news segments, there are often far more than 500 words.
Word count aside, if you can’t expect TV to provide accuracy and sound judgment, what is the expectation?