L.A. TV news: mostly crime and fluff

An average half-hour of L.A. local news devotes almost three minutes to crime stories, but only 22 seconds to all kinds of local government coverage, according to a big new study by the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Teasers took up four times the 29 seconds devoted to business and economic news, even in a deep recession. The study, which says it looked at 11,000 stories that aired last summer, also found that 3:36 of each half hour were devoted to sports and weather. Soft news, defined as "human interest, oddball stories and miscellaneous fluff," averaged 2:26. The study also looked at the Los Angeles Times and found that the paper carried more hard news on its front page than TV included, but we already knew that. The results will be formally announced at an event tomorrow, but here's the report.

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