|Without news, what would Jon make fun of?|
The article said there is a central source that feeds the stories to a city's news shows. They -- the central source -- determine what stories will air, how they'll be told, and what visuals they'll include. Then the stations take this home, insert their own reporters into the feed, and regurgitate the exact same stories on every news station.
This didn't come as a surprise to me. I've long noted that NYC's three main news stations presented identical stories, in the same order, and often using the same video footage. In my mind, the newsrooms were all in one building, on one floor. They met in the morning, where they were handed the stories, and then presented them on their own stations as "unique". The subsidiary stations (in NYC, 5, 9 and 11, as opposed to the "main" stations, 2, 4 and 7) are really offshoots of the main stations. You'll see a different "anchor" and the same stories -- but on these stations, the stories are often a day old. (I assume this is a sort of contractual hobbling of the secondary stations.)
This is not healthy for our democracy. And the fact that most papers are about to fold, probably within five years, max, is another ominous sign for our country. Already, we have AP providing a unified news source from which the papers and electronic media feed. Take away the papers and there will be less profit for AP (Reuters doesn't count; let's face it), which will mean less resources within AP.
No matter how you look at it, we will soon be fed through one news source. And whoever controls that source, controls us. These are interesting times.