We Interrupt This Newscast

How to Improve Local News and Win Ratings, Too

by Tom Rosenstiel, Marion Just, Todd Belt, Atiba Pertilla, Walter Dean, Dante Chinni

Local television newscasts around the country look alike and are filled with crime, accidents, and disasters. Interviews with more than 2,000 TV journalists around the country demonstrate that news looks this way because of the ingrained belief that 'eye-ball grabbers' are the only way to build an audience. This book contradicts the conventional wisdom using empirical evidence drawn from a five-year content analysis of local news in more than 154 stations in 50 markets around the country. The book shows that 'how' a story is reported is more important for building ratings than what the story is about. Local TV does not have to 'bleed to lead'. Instead local journalists can succeed by putting in the effort to get good stories, finding and balancing sources, seeking out experts, and making stories relevant to the local audience.

  • Cambridge University Press; April 2007
  • ISBN: 9780511282942
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: We Interrupt This Newscast
  • Author: Tom Rosenstiel; Marion Just; Todd Belt; Atiba Pertilla; Walter Dean; Dante Chinni
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

"The book... is We Interrupt This Newscast. … Get it. Read it. And maybe, most important, buy a copy for your boss."
Charles Gibson, ABC News, from his Paul White address to RTNDA, 2006