Local Television News in the 90’s:

Producing High Quality News

In the American Metropolis




Ryan W. Ozimek







June 22, 1999


A UCLA Communication Studies

Senior Honors Research Project








Abstract                                                                                                                      3


Introduction                                                                                                                3

            A Brief History of Local Television                                                               3

            The Unresolved Problem of News Quality                                                    6

            Problem Statement and Thesis                                                                       7


Past Research                                                                                                              8

            Past Explanations for Poor News Quality                                                     8


Discovering New Reasons for Poor News Quality                                                    9

            A Closer Look at the Population Effect on News Quality                            9

            Methodology                                                                                                  10

            Crime Rates and News Quality                                                                      11

            Ethnic Diversity in a Market                                                                          12

The Effects of New Technology                                                                    14

            Quality of Newscasts in State Capitols                                                         15

            Influence of Market Competition                                                                   15


Possible Explanations of Poor News Quality That Show Promise                            17

            Niche Marketing                                                                                             17

            Effects of Large Cities on Journalists’ Coverage                                            18

            Market Concentration                                                                                     19

            Discussion on Unexpected Data Pattern                                                        19


Case Study:  KMEX, A Niche Market That Works                                                  21


Conclusions and Guidance For Further Research                                                       23


References                                                                                                                   25




Critics of local television news are by no measure lacking in the field of journalism.  Most scholars, as well as many members of the public, see local television news as laughable.  Many factors have lead to this label, including market forces, diverse demographics, and others.  Despite the seemingly plausible hypotheses of past researchers, the only strong correlate to quality of local news is population size.  Though population itself does not determine a news programs quality, various inherent qualities of larger populated cities tend to produce lower quality news.



            The nation’s local television news industry is in a state of despair.  Nightly newscasts packed with crime, violence, and other episodic stories fill the airwaves.  While local newscasts on the whole clearly put television news at its lowest quality in history, even more disturbing is the trend in the nation’s largest cities.  These cities have, on average, the worst quality of news in the country.  Though it is easy to show that larger city populations correlate strongly with poorer local news quality, the more important answer may be tougher to find:  the underlying factor within population size that creates this phenomenon.  If population size drives the quality of news, there must be something either inherent within audience size that contributes to this explanation. 

A Brief History of Local Television News

            Since the early 1970’s, local television news has been beamed into American households.  Before this time, most people became informed of both national and local events mainly through newspapers.  The 1970’s boom in the television news industry changed the way people received information about the world around them.  In the past 20 years, television news, especially local television news, has become the most common way people become informed (Ansolabehere, et al., 1993).  Quickly, station managers began to see the enormous profitability local news coverage could offer them.  No longer did people watch the national news with regularity.  Instead, they tended to get their news from the local television station.

            With the advent of computers and high technology, the ability to report and produce news broadcasts has increased dramatically.  This capacity for new technology, however, created an interesting twist to the local television news we see today.  Mobile satellite trucks, instant uplinks to news around the world, helicopter mounted television cameras, and other new technologies all helped to begin a revolution in the way news is produced by local affiliates.  It is now possible for a station to give not only state and local news, but also national and world news.  Viewers can now receive news from around the world, as well as their local news, from their hometown affiliate.

            At the same time technological advances are rapidly occurring, so is the pressure of competition to create the perfect newscast.  Cable television provided the catalyst needed to help the world of local news explode.  With cable, local television stations could reach more households than they could with conventional radio signals.  In doing so, they increased the possible viewing population by large numbers.  The result of this increase of viewership is clear:  an increase in the possibility of bringing even more advertising dollars than already provided by the national programming.  Tapping into a gold mine of resources, the economic imperative of local stations to produce highly attractive news programs has increased competition among regional stations.  In addition to the rapid changes in technology, the new market of competition between affiliates over local news began a long-term revolution of local television news. 

            The most intriguing part of this rapid time of change within the area of local news is the effect of increased competition on the substance of the newscast.  Scholars have noted a general trend in the nature of the news broadcast.  This trend, one of increasing coverage of crime and violence, now overwhelms many newscasts.  The Rocky Mountain Media Watch group of Denver, Colorado, an organization that began tracking the violence in newscasts just a few years ago, found that over 40 percent of the news shown on local television depicts either violent crime or disasters (Frankel, 1995).  On the other hand, while there has been a general trend toward more violence on television news, there has been quite drop in the amount of political or government news.  This category includes all government news coverage, from a town hall meeting to a presidential election.  In a 1991 study conducted by Phyllis Kaniss, she found that of the local television stations she watched 33 percent of their airtime was devoted to coverage of government issues.  Right behind that, coverage of “occurrences” took up 32 percent of the newstime.  Statistics such as these are unheard of in today’s more violent local media, and the trend today seems to support this status quo.

 The Unresolved Problem of News Quality

            For more than ten years now, scholars have looked into the rapidly changing market of local news broadcasts without finding the answer they want to find:  why is local news considered to be so bad?  Common answers normally came without much quantitative proof, and instead were simply personal opinions as to what qualified for “good news.”  There are four prominent reasons for the lowering quality of local news:  1) an overemphasis on occurrence based stories, 2) poor reporting skills, 3) technological advances are drawing away from news content, and 4) hyping of small problems takes away resources and money.  These problems, all addressed effectively in past literature, are necessary in order to piece together the larger issue of poor news quality which none of them alone can fully explain.

            In a report issued in January of 1999, the Project for Excellence in Journalism released their yearlong study of 20 television market’s local newscasts.  Their study looked extensively at over 300 hours of tapes and successfully discovered many underlying issues that drive down news quality.  However, they were unable to determine why news quality decreased as population size increased.  Though they correctly identified the big city markets as the worst news providers, their data remained unfinished.  It is here, in the search to find out how large cities like Los Angeles and New York can produce better news for their viewers, that begins the heart of this research.

Problem Statement and Thesis

            Though the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s study found many probable reasons for local television news to be as poor as it is, their study and others have fallen short of seeing the larger picture.  Money and profit margins drive the television newscasts of the 1990’s.  In the past, local news simply added an expense account to affiliates.  Now, social television newscasts bring in more advertising dollars than national network newscasts.  This observation brings us to a point often overlooked by scholars and journalists alike:  television journalism is a market driven commodity.  As tough as it may be for professional journalists to swallow, they are simply labor for a market of entertainment media.  The main problem with past studies and journalists is the inability to look at the effects of society on the news.  So many times, journalists forget to realize that no matter how much they try to change the world, it is the audience that will dictate the night’s news.  As the size of the audience grows, especially into the multi-millions range, the job of producing the best quality news becomes tougher.

            This study will investigate why large cities tend to have lower quality news programming than smaller cities.  After reviewing all the data collected in this yearlong research, including secondary data from past research projects, the correlation between large cities and poorer quality news is very strong.  Although the expected reasons included such hypotheses as more diverse demographics, high crime rates, and higher competitive markets, their correlations could not accurately pinpoint these causes.  Since these components did not have strong correlations to news quality, they will not be considered as reasons for poor newscasts, but will still be investigated in detail.

Past Explanations for Poor Local News Quality

            Starting in early 1990, journalists and scholars alike began to notice a disturbing trend in local television journalism.  Newscasts started producing more tabloid-formatted newscasts, and the focus of the daily news was no longer local and state government, but now crime and disaster stories.  As one of the first researchers to recognize this market wide shift, Phyllis Kaniss of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania wrote a behind the scenes book titled Making Local News.  After thorough research, she detailed a number of factors that led local news to distort the public’s understanding of local policies, including an emphasis on anchors, limited number of reporters, and a need for effective video and sound bites (Kaniss 101). 

            Many other researchers have looked at the problem of lowering news quality on similar levels.  Some chose to look at the journalist themselves, seeing if the journalists own personal characteristics may affect the way local news is depicted.  Others studied the effects of the corporate structure in local television affiliates.  These large and tangled webs of national networks and their local affiliates complicate the manner in which local stations can broadcast their news.  Although past findings have been interesting and increased awareness in their fields, they have been unable to pinpoint a more exact reason for poor news quality.

A Closer Look at the Population Effect on News Quality

            When surveying the possible explanations as to why news quality decreases as one goes from large cities to smaller ones, the only strong correlation found is that of population size and news quality.  Seemingly inherent of large populations, newscasts in these regions are lacking in quality.  Population size itself is probably not the sole reason for this correlation.  It wouldn’t make much sense for simply the number of people in city would somehow determine the quality of news.  Instead, the true answer may be hidden within the population itself, riding piggyback on the variable of population. 

                                                                                                                        Figure 1



            Looking back at past research and commonly held ideas about the content of local news, there are many widely held beliefs that I studied to determine which variable hides beneath the population variable.  A list of these possible variables that could be part of population in local news is listed as follows:

·      A city’s crime rate

·      Ethnic and racial diversity

·      New technology

·      Newscast in state capitols

·      Increasingly competitive markets and economic forces

Throughout this research, we looked at these and other factors that may contribute to poorer news quality in large cities.  While many of them seem to make sense in a hypothetical model, none of these factors correlated strongly with a decrease in news quality.  Instead, no correlation, or only slight correlation could be found in these possible factors.  Taking a closer at these factors, although not correlated to news quality, will help us dispel many of the myths connected with the reasons for poor quality.


            Within the context of this study, we will use the findings of the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s findings in their January 1999 report as a measure of quality of news in 20 different television markets across the country.  Furthermore, we will use an average of the quality of news in a city as a “GPA” for a city’s news.  For instance, if their study gave a city’s three stations all “B” grades, we gave that city a 3.0 GPA for news quality, on a scale from 0 to 4, with 4 being the highest.  Using this method for finding news quality, we were able to use statistical information from the same cities cited in the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s report to find correlation in population demographics.

Crime Rates and News Quality

Scholars researching local news have seen a disturbing trend in the area of occurrence news.  As Americans became more worried about what they saw as increasing crime, journalism joined the bandwagon.  Between 1993 and 1994, crimes and murder became the most heavily covered topic in the news media (Patterson 61).  Throughout the 1980’s, no more than five percent of Americans polled believed that crime was the country’s most pressing issue.  By 1994, over 40 percent of the population saw crime as the most important topic America needed to face.  Meeting the new need for crime coverage, television news coverage began to shift dramatically from a generally well balanced view of issues, to an occurrence and crime-based newscast.  In Kaniss’ 1991 study of local news found that occurrence stories accounted for about 30 to 35 percent of the typical news program (Kaniss 114).  In that study, “occurrence” stories included not only crime, but accidents, court trials, disasters, and any other temporary or quickly moving news.  The figure shifted dramatically in just six years.  Looking at over 51 newscasts across the country, the Rocky Mountain Media Watch group found that 72 of 100 lead stories on a given night were about crime and violence (Frankel June 1997:20).  Furthermore, more than one-third of all news stories involved crime.  The most interesting part of this sudden increase in crime coverage is that over this same time period, crime in America has decreased, and violent crime, the most typical shown on the local evening news, decreased at increasingly higher rates.  With this increased focus on crime without increasing crime rates showed that newscasts focused more on depicting crime to attract viewers rather than simply cover issues truly affecting the communities.

      These figures relate closely to the recent Columbia Journalism study and our study’s results.  Looking at the amount of crime shown on the news broadcasts in their study, the Project for Excellence in Journalism found that just over a quarter of the airtime was devoted to crime stories.  Supporting this figure, our study found little to no correlation between the crime rate of a city and it’s overall news quality.  Using the data regarding the quality of news by city, and correlating it with population data figures by television market, there is a very small correlation (see Figure 2 below).

                                                                                                                        Figure 2

Ethnic Diversity in a Market

            Our study hypothesized that the more diverse and stratified a television market, the more likely it would have to serve a lower common denominator, thereby driving news quality down.  This seems to make sense, especially in markets such as New York and Los Angeles.  These television markets, ranking as the fifth and sixth worst news cities in the 20 market study, are two of the top four most diverse cities in the country.  The hypothesis is based on the basic tenets of television advertising:  unless a station has a niche market, the lowest common denominator will determine the broadcasting contents.  Increased diversity should force television news stations to drive down the quality of their newscasts, as too much focus or in-depth coverage on a specific area may alienate an important ethnic or racial demographic.

                                                                                                                        Figure 3

            As Figure 3 shows, however, no strong correlation appears between news quality and a region’s diversity.  For example, Tallahassee, FL, has the second highest ethnic diversity in the study, and at the same time has the third best news quality in the study.  On the other hand, Los Angeles, the most diverse city in the study, also has one of the lowest news quality rankings.  It seems as though the newscasts see beyond color lines, and instead focuses on other ways to target audience, such as income, geographic location, political involvement, etc. 


The Effects of New Technology

            It would be expected that new, high technology would help lead us into a world of better news broadcasts, giving us the world at our fingertips.  News stations can send trucks out to the scene of breaking event anywhere roads lead, and have clear signal from the ground in less than ten minutes.  Helicopters have become a favorite of many local news stations.  Their versatility allows stations to get to the scene of breaking news faster than ever before.  Also, a local news station can retrieve video from anywhere in the world over satellite wire services, allowing them to produce local angle stories on issues thousands of miles away from their stations.  Today’s technological revolution paves the road for better news broadcasting, allowing smaller news stations to garner power only the largest stations were ever able to afford.  However, even with all the hope, this technological age has been both a rose and a thorn in the side of local television news.

Although this study did not directly analyze the effects of new technological advances, many researchers have already begun to study its effects on the quality of news.  The Project for Excellence in journalism summed it up best when it wrote that local television news, “technology doesn’t serve [the] content,” (PEJ 1999).  Technology can serve many great purposes, but once it begins to overtake the power of the content, the newscast forgets that it is trying to tell people the news, and not produce a documentary.  Frequently, when forced to push for higher ratings, news producers allow their zealous production consultants to overkill their jobs.  Flashy on screen graphics, annoying jingles, and chatty anchorman take away from the news itself.  With such uses of new technology, the public is no longer being served; it’s being served entertainment.

Quality of Newscasts in State Capitols

            Considering that they are the political hearts of states, our study hypothesized that news stations in state capitols would be of higher quality than the typical news broadcast.  Quality of news is highly related to the amount of governmental news versus the amount of occurrence news.  One would expect that in a market that housed the center of state politics, news quality on the local television stations would be greater than non-state capitol cities.

            Surprisingly enough, being in the state capitol had little to no effect on the quality of news.  This statistic, however, may not be as easily answered by this study as one would wish.  Though seven of the twenty cities studied were state capitols, this figure leaves out over 43 other state capitols.  The problem may be simply a reflection of the sample itself.  The sample may have been one too small to be able to make such a generalization, considering the low number of state capitols included in the research.  However, one can not discount the statistical relevance of the results.  News stations in state capitols may have a lot of local government news to choose from, probably still face the same market driven tendencies of other cities, forcing them to stray away from political news and more towards event driven news such as crime, accidents, etc.  Regardless as to the reasons amounting to the results, there is simply no correlation between broadcasting from a state's capitol city and higher news quality.

Influence of Market Competition

            One of the stronger hypotheses as to why population dictates the strength of news quality is that market competitiveness increases as population increases, and at the same time as competition increases, quality of news decreases.  At first glance, this seems to






make sense.  In Los Angeles, the most congested local news market in the country, news quality is at a low.  It is plausible for news quality to decrease as competition increased, since competition would drive stations to become flashier and stray from simply telling the news and instead entertain an audience with the news.  The same effect occurs in New York, where competition among five television stations is second only to Los Angeles, and news quality is one of the lowest in the nation.   Although in typical capitalistic models of economics, competition should drive the market to producing better products, the local news market finds itself dumbing down to better hit the lowest common denominator.  Publicity consultants are brought into stations to clean house during sweeps weeks, and normally leave a swath of destruction to the news itself behind them when they leave.  Competition, one would believe, simply adds to the problem of decreasing news quality.

                                                                                                                        Figure 4

            When looking at the data of the 20 major television markets, no strong correlation occurred between competition and news quality.  Basing competition on the number of television stations producing news broadcasts per market, the study found that there was a very weak correlation between increased competition and lowering quality of news.  This data seems to fly into the face of reason, however, as one can look at New York and Los Angeles as examples of how competition lowers the quality of news.  The problem with this view concerns other highly competitive markets, such as Evansville and Louisville, which have five and four stations in their market respectively.  These two markets were high in both competition and quality.  In an article for the American Journalism Review in 1993, Todd Gitlin argued that the problems of economic forces in the local television news market were tied directly to the need to gain rating points.  “Television journalists will say…that they themselves would prefer to go down in history as the local version of Edward R. Murrow,” Gitlin wrote.  “But, alas and alack, there’s no commercial alternative to the quick and the lurid, because, let’s face it, sufficient numbers of masses keep offering their delectable eyeballs for the rental of advertisers.”  The problem, he fears, is that stations that may want to turn their news more highbrow don’t because they know that their ratings will quickly drop as they cover the state house while their competition continues to cover the crack house. With competition, the correlation between increased market forces and better quality news simply isn’t true.

Possible Explanations of Poor News Quality That Show Promise 

            A possible route for news programming to build up better quality would be niche marketing.  Using this economic principle, television stations would be able to decide much like their news magazine cousins, which sector of the market’s demographic they would like to cover, and then push news specifically targeted for that group.  The reason we see so many new magazines on the shelf is because they can afford to split the market into many demographics, each magazine taking its fair share.  If the same could happen in local television, there would seem, with an efficiently large population, that stations could split going highbrow and lowbrow, attracting advertisers to hit that market perfectly.  Again, however, we reach the problem of attracting the lowest common denominator.  There are a limited number of VHF stations (12), unlike magazines, which can infinite in number and variety.  With a small cap on the market, no television station can afford to split up a demographic.  Already their market is severely split, such as in Los Angeles, and to further split a generalized public into smaller pieces would leave them with lower ratings as their competitor continues to include all the population’s taste in their programming.  The only time that a station would have a reason to go into a niche market would be if the niche market populations were bigger than their market share currently.  For instance, if each television station in Los Angeles received 1/7th of the market, and a niche market that was 1/5th of the population could be directly marketed, we would expect to see a station move toward the niche.  Without a reason to form the niche market in the larger populated cities, it seems difficult to be able to overcome the problem of economic forces making any kind of a positive impact on the local television news quality.

            A second and one of the most convincing arguments that could help explain population’s effect on news quality focuses on the coverage of each reporter.  Considering that news stations across the country have an average of 10-14 news reporters on their staff, regardless of how many stations are in the market, one can compare the area of coverage against the size of staff and news quality.  With this assumption, the average reporter in a larger television market would need to cover a greater number of municipalities.  Further, with a greater area of coverage, the reporters would need to have a large number of close sources in order to continue to keep good contact with current events not as salacious as crimes and violence.  Normally, however, a reporter in a large city finds it difficult to cover the multiple municipalities, and has difficulty trying to keep close, reliable sources.  For example, a Los Angeles station, with an equal number of reporters as a Tucson station and much larger population, must cover the news for a much larger number of municipalities.  A reporter covering West LA would need not only to cover LA city news, but also Santa Monica, Malibu, Brentwood, etc.  This would promote less in-depth research on any one area, while also making it difficult to build close ties with sources.  Both of these problems would easily lead to more superficial coverage of the news, focusing on quick, episodic events such as violence, crime, etc. 

This study tested the above hypothesis by looking at the concentration of population within the largest city in a given market.  By comparing population size inside the largest city in a market to the total market population, one can find the percentage of people who live within the market’s city hub.  In correlating this concentration percentage to news quality, a moderate, positive correlation of +.36 is found when controlling for population size.  Thus, although population density in a market’s largest city is not as strong a correlate as population size for news quality, it still has two significant factors.  One, the correlation is a positive correlation, meaning that for the first time in the study, as some variable increases, so to does news quality.  Therefore, we can finally point to something that once increased, can better news quality.  Second, the correlation of market concentration, though not as strong as population size, is the next strongest correlation of any of the other commonly assumed correlates of news quality found in this study.  Therefore, it is difficult to simply shrug this correlation off, as it will require further research into the coverage done by journalists in large cities on a one on one level of analysis.

Another valid point often looked over in researching local news is that audiences have certain tastes that they demand from the television stations.  Although past researchers such as Max Frankel, who called local television news “Body Bag News”, and The Rocky Mountain Research Group cry foul as the stations produce violence dominating newscasts, it is the market that has demanded this type of news.  This study shows that every station, in all markets, have relatively equal amount of crime and violence they want to cover in each newscast.  About one quarter of a newscast is devoted to occurrence news.  The most important aspect of the occurrence news coverage concerns the amount of research a reporter must do in order to get the salacious news for the day.  A reporter in a larger city like New York and Los Angeles would have no problem finding a graphic and violent crime somewhere in their cities almost everyday.  Whereas in a much smaller city like Louisville, who only has such horrendous crimes as New York’s once a year, a reporter would have snoop deeper in order to get crime that can make it onto the air.  With less salacious violence, the smaller city’s crime coverage is actually normally of higher quality than that of the large cities, pushing their overall news quality upward.  This inherent embodiment of larger populations to have more salacious news, and for these large markets to accept it on their airwaves (Los Angeles has seven stations to cover it!), shows another reason why population negatively correlates with news quality.

Case Study:  KMEX, A Niche Market That Works

            The market for Spanish language television in Los Angeles is one of the largest demographics in the market.  One of the Spanish language stations in Los Angeles, KMEX (part of the Univision family) is also able to overcome the immense pressures of a highly competitive market and high population to create a strikingly good quality news show.  As both the top rated non-English speaking news broadcasts in the city and the country, KMEX also boasts the highest rated newscast in what could easily be called the toughest market in the country.  Reaching over 5.5 million Latinos in the Greater Los Angeles community, it is the clear ratings winner at the 6PM-news slot for both men and women 18-49.  In addition, it recently KMEX-TV was also the first national recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for “Overall Excellence in Television,” an award given by the Radio & TV News Directors Association, who also called it, “America’s best newscast.”  This local affiliate of Univision creates a stark contrast between it and the rest of the Los Angeles newscasts.

            In order to look at the quality of news in the Los Angeles area in depth, television news broadcasts for all seven English speaking and two Spanish speaking stations were coded during the week of January 25, 1999.  The coding scheme duplicated the methods created by Kaniss in her previous research, in which she coded for the content analysis of two week’s worth of local television news in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Stories will be placed into the following categories, taken directly from Kaniss’ study:  “government,” to include all local, state, and national government stories; “occurrences,” to include crimes and trials, accidents, disasters, and fires; “private institutions,” to include business, private educational, and religious institution stories; “features,” including consumer investigations, celebrity stories, and other miscellaneous features; and “world news,” to include all international events (Kaniss, 113).  This model, successfully employed by Kaniss in her study, not only made coding easy, but also give enough depth to see at least small amounts of differentiation between the news stations.

            The results of the coding show that KMEX, along with its other Spanish competitor KVEA, have much less violence and crime in their newscasts.  Instead, they are able to replace the occurrence stories with government, and more strikingly world news stories.  These Spanish stations have created a niche market out of the Los Angeles television market.  The Latino population of Los Angeles is over 4 million, more than

                                                                                                                        Figure 5

one quarter the city’s population.  When the market population is divided in seven ways, this niche market is ideal.  Using the niche, a station can effectively cut out a large portion of the market’s demographic and bring it news more specifically targeted for it.  For instance, of the occurrence news covered on KMEX, 80 percent of it involved Latinos.  Also, with the recent passage of state legislation that directly affects this community, the news stations have even more reason than ever to create this niche.  With these demographic qualities, one can see from the chart below that it has helped KMEX and its fellow Spanish news station produce better quality, and more varied local news.


            The hypothesis of niche marketing seems to hold well here.  In this market, the stations that sought to attract a specific target audience, whose population was larger than that of the equal divisions created by other stations, were able to produce better news and also garner a higher Nielsen points than any other station in the market.  KMEX followed classic journalistic qualities in order to produce news low in crime coverage and high in government and world coverage.  Although there seems to still be an appetite in the market for crime and occurrence coverage, KMEX shows that in smaller  market populations, stations can produce higher quality news when niche marketing occurs.  It also seems to agree with previous findings regarding news coverage.  If a station such as KMEX coverage can focus on smaller areas, such as the Latino community, sourcing may become stronger with more interaction and connection.

Conclusions and Guidance for Further Research

         The state of local news in America is far from perfect.  Coverage often focuses on crime, violence, and other forms of occurrence news that is easy to report, tape, and digest.  This type of coverage replaces more substantive news such as local governments, national politics, world news, and in depth stories that cover trends rather than episodes of events.  Looking closely at the causes of such news broadcasting, this study found that population strongly effects the type of news in a television market.  Though many of hypotheses past researchers have believed to be the reasons for this decreasing news quality were shown to be unfounded, population, and more specifically market demographics, showed the strongest correlation to news quality.    

            Further research should study the effects of large population and geographic areas of coverage on the level of the average journalist.  By looking more closely at the effects of a large market on the journalist, one would better be able to tell the reasons journalists decide to cover certain stories in large markets, but not in smaller markets.  Also, such a study could more conclusively prove the relationship between markets that have dense populations in the main city of the market and an increased news quality.  Once a link between these two areas can be made stronger, one would be able to use the niche-marketing model of KMEX to prove that large cities with similar demographics can produce high quality news.  Population size, now known to be the main link to the quality of news broadcasts, can be studied more closely to help show journalists how to cope with wanting to produce high quality news and still remain economically viable.


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