Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The carelessness of the local TV news

Local television news shows have always depended on newspapers to get their information. But now that newspapers are disappearing, what are local news programs going to do to make sure their news is accurate?

Nothing, apparently.

Last night I was watching a local news broadcast (I think it was Channel 9,but I'm not 100% sure - they all seem the same to me). During their short report on the Royals' win over the White Sox, the sports anchor made not one but TWO mistakes about players' names. Now, I'm the last to criticize simple proofreading errors made by reporters - God knows I made more than my fair share during my career (like the time I wrote that the Civil War took place in 1962). But these mistakes were just plain dumb.

First, the anchor said Billy Butler hit an RBI double off White Sox pitcher Freddy Sanchez. The White Sox pitcher at the time was Freddy Garcia; Freddy Sanchez is an infielder for the San Francisco Giants. Just seconds later the anchor reported that Butler scored on a single by Esteban German. This is a little more plausible since German actually did play for the Royals at one point. But now, he plays for the Texas Rangers. The guy who drove in Butler was Alberto Callaspo.

Maybe the anchor just has difficulty with Hispanic names. But it would be nice if our local TV reporters knew enough about the Royals to at least get the names right.

-- Matt Kelsey

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