Things are looking up again for KELO-TV.
I reported last month that the Sioux Falls CBS affiliate, while still the dominant station for local TV news, had seen ratings slip to their lowest point in several years. KSFY, meanwhile, had been gaining ground the last couple years.
That trend evidently stopped during the November sweeps period. Little changed at 5 and 6 p.m., but KELO appeared to take viewers back from KSFY at 10 p.m.
KELO’s late-news audience share grew from a 37 in November 2011 to a 43 this year - their best number for that newscast in the last five ratings books.
KSFY’s share - despite their time-tested viewership strategy of going undercover* to see how much money one can get from strangers - plummeted from a 15 to 8, their lowest number in more than five years.
KDLT held its 5 share.
* Here’s KSFY GM Jim Berman defending the panhandling story: “I’m sure you can pick apart anything that anyone is doing. … We did what we thought was a pretty meaningful story … because there is now this potential for this law to come on the books. We didn’t do it just to do it. That same day, (KELO’s sweeps piece was) what’s going on in the world of commercial photography. You tell me which one is the more meaningful piece.”
KELO’s story last night on Pam Homan’s contract began thusly:
“Making public employee contracts public was a priority for some South Dakota lawmakers this session …”
I laughed when I heard it, because it tells us that public employee contracts previously were not public — at least in the eyes of the Sioux Falls and Yankton school districts and an administrative law judge, who decided the state’s ballyhooed open-records law actually turned once-public records private.
Imagine that. Her salary was public, but the fact that the school board was giving Homan an extra $22,000 cash each year, among other benefits, was not public.
Homan told Rick Knobe last September that her benefits were pretty much the same as when she signed her first contract as superintendent in 2004. I had no reason to believe that wasn’t the case.
Now that the law has been changed, we know for sure.
KELO reported quite falsely this morning that education and Medicaid suffered the same cuts last year as the rest of the state budget.
Educators Hopeful for Measure 15
Published: December 5, 2011, 6:56 AM
It was one of the most heated topics to come out of the last legislative session: A ten percent, across the board cut in state funding. Education and Medicaid didn’t get any special treatment.
Although that was Gov. Daugaard’s initial proposal, the Legislature ultimately found many millions for K-12 schools and Medicaid.
The per-student formula was reduced by 8.6 percent, not 10 percent. And after one-time money, the actual per-student cut for public schools was only 6.6 percent for FY12.
The more interesting story in KELO’s one-source report with “local administrators” [sic] seems to be how Tea Area Schools are raising money:
Laboranti says Tea has been great in supporting the school system, but they cannot continue to rely on the pubic to fundraise.
KELO’s Nov. 30 story on school lunch rules reads like it was written months ago. It relates the concerns of Chester Area School officials that healthier school lunch guidelines will be too expensive and lead to more wasted food.
Among their complaints:
It would also limit starchy vegetables including corn and potatoes to two servings per week instead of two servings a day. The starches would be switched with less common vegetables.
“The chick peas, the sweet potatoes and the okra are all three things they would like us to serve our students. We don’t even have that available to us and as an adult, I’ve never eaten okra. Not that I wouldn’t try it but for kids to, that would be really tough. We are still trying to get them used to peas and green beans,” [Elementary Principal Faith] Stratton said.
This is a legitimate concern. Or at least it was when I wrote about the proposed rules in March.
But then Congress changed the rules, killing the limit on starchy vegetables and allowing schools to count the tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable serving. President Obama signed the bill Nov. 18. Fries and pizza for everyone!
And apostrophes too!
One small school district doing it’s best to feed it’s student’s healthy food, hoping the federal government doesn’t tell them they are doing it wrong.
A guy took pictures of kids outside two Sioux Falls elementary schools on Thursday. Naturally, this led to calls from the schools to police and parents and hysterical TV news coverage.
KSFY found this to be a fine opportunity to warn of “stranger danger.” Enjoy this one-source story about “parents” (sic) talking to their children:
My favorite part of the report is when KSFY cites tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the same organization that says perpetuating the “stranger danger” myth is not helpful.
KELO made me laugh when they led their 5 p.m. newscast with their tale of a suspicious stranger. It had to be a little awkward for the cameraman who was sent to shoot B-roll of kids walking around outside a school.
He addressed this awkwardness by adjusting his lens so that the students would be out of focus. Presumably, he did this so as not to associate himself with the dangerous man who was the subject of the report.
The Associated Press did a good thing this month when it began adding links to the original reports on its wire service. Here’s an example:
My co-worker Megan Luther wrote a story for Sunday about the state collecting sales tax on charitable organizations that hand out free food. No other news organization had this story. The AP copied the story and put it on its wire for use by other organizations, adding some language about where the news came from: ” … told the Argus Leader.”
In the past, that’s all the AP did within the wire story to acknowledge the source. Now, they’re also adding links to the original reports, in this case http://bit.ly/mXDbDG
That lets the reader on some other news organization’s website click through to the original report, which usually has more information.
For another example, see how the Mitchell Daily Republic’s story on a Bill Janklow speeding ticket appears on other newspaper sites in Aberdeen and Sioux Falls.
Everybody wins, right? Well, only until TV stations get involved.
KDLT, KSFY and KELO – all AP members – have stories on the sales tax controversy and the Janklow ticket on their websites, yet they attribute the news to the AP and make no mention of the Argus Leader or Daily Republic, much less provide links to the original reports. When TV news anchors read these stories on air, of course, attribution disappears entirely, giving viewers the impression that the stations found and reported the news on their own.
Why not give credit where it’s due? Perhaps, because you want to be seen as a organization that reports the news, not simply recycles it.
I’ve been cheered by friends and acquaintances lately for using this blog to pick on KELO-TV. I haven’t intended to do so, but this headline is begging me to call attention to it.
Diaz, in fact, has not been found guilty of anything. The AG’s office announced today that Diaz will be tried as an adult. The news release even goes so far as to say, explicitly: “Diaz is presumed innocent until such time as proven guilty.”