Watching TV news in my house means I hold the remote firmly and jump among all the stations to see what they’ve got. I’ve cut back my news viewing to 10 p.m. because that’s all I can stomach on a daily basis and Fox 13 isn’t worth watching- I don’t care if it’s on at 9 p.m., 2:30 a.m. or whenever. It’s just junk.
The usual 10 p.m. infomenu consists of murder, crime, death, fires, dead babies and basically the same stuff you’ve just watched in the previous three hours of prime time network television. So imagine my surprise when I watched last night and Channel 5 ran a story about the growing problem of wildlife descending upon the lower elevations looking for food left unburied by the record snow depths of the mountains. To their credit, all the news media in town have been covering this story for weeks. But this KSL offering went deeper into the problem of carcass collection, showing a rotting deer corpse on someone’s curb (OK, it qualifies as a death story, I guess).
Then I bounced to Channel 2 where Rod Decker, a reporter I actually met and worked with at the Republican Convention in Houston in 1992, was doing a story about the controversy over new coal-burning power plants being built in and around Utah. He did a good job, talking with all sides including Tim Wagner of the Utah Sierra Club chapter and Utah Clean Air Alliance (FYI: I’m a member of both as well), an outspoken critic of coal plants and whose recent editorial on the subject appears right below this post.
Could it be that environmental stories are ready for prime time? Are enough Utahns showing interest that corporate media are waking up and realizing this is an important issue that needs addressing urgently? It looks like it and I sure hope so.