A small television station in Santa Rosa, Calif., has eliminated most of its news staff and will replace its evening newscasts with contributions from citizen journalists. The station, KFTY-TV, is owned by Clear Channel. Thus, this has all the makings of a profit-driven fiasco — a perversion of the promise of citizen journalism.
But you know what? Clear Channel’s bottom-line-driven motivation aside, this might prove worthwhile. As the ironically named station executive Steve Spendlove is quoted as saying, “There will be a loss in local coverage, I’m not going to lie to you. But there are a lot of other places to get most of that information.”
It’s hard to tell from this Wikipedia entry how well-served the Santa Rosa area is. But assuming that residents still have two or three local newscasts from which to choose, having another outlet doing something completely different strikes me as something well worth trying.