Award-Winning 'SoCal Connected' Focuses On Substantive Content When Compared to Commercial TV Local News

Los Angeles - April 8, 2010 - KCET's award-winning signature news program SoCal Connected delivers hard-hitting reports about a range of topics affecting the lives of Southern Californians. A KCET direct comparison to a study by USC's Norman Lear Center confirmed that the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning SoCal Connected far exceeds other local TV stations in its coverage of substantive stories, such as government, budget issues and healthcare.

The Norman Lear Center at USC's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism last month published a study of local news content on eight Los Angeles commercial TV stations. More than 11,000 news stories within nearly 1,000 half-hour broadcasts from the stations were analyzed and categorized based on subject matter.

The study was widely publicized and its general finding was that Los Angeles commercial stations local TV news broadcasts were heavy on sports/weather, crime and soft/odd news, but very light on substantive content.

As a follow-up, KCET's research staff categorized the content of SoCal Connected's second season, which premiered in October 2009. The USC categories were used in the KCET analysis.

The comparison confirms that the program content of SoCal Connected was significantly more substantive than that of the Los Angeles commercial TV station local news, which is primarily soft or sensational stories and crime reports.

For example, 47% of SoCal Connected's program content dealt with weightier subjects of government, business/economy/technology or health/health policy, while the commercial news stations' percentage of these same content areas was only 20%.

On the other hand, 4% of SoCal Connected's program content dealt with sports/weather, crime or soft/odd news stories, compared to 47% for the commercial news stations.

A graph of the entire list of specific subject matter comparisons is available upon request.

About SoCal Connected

SoCal Connected, is the recent winner of the George Foster Peabody Award, considered the most prestigious award in broadcasting. The program has also won six Emmys, eight Golden Mikes, including Best News Public Affairs Show, five LA Press Club awards for journalism, recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary, and Los Angeles magazine's "Best New Local TV Program" of 2009. SoCal Connected airs Thursdays (8:00 - 8:30 p.m.), Fridays (8:30 - 9:00 p.m.), Saturdays (6:00 - 6:30 p.m.), and Sundays (6:30 - 7:00 p.m.) exclusively on KCET. For more information, to view episodes online or to post comments, please visit www.kcet.org/socal.

SoCal Connected is made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation, serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; Linda and Abbott Brown; The Elizabeth Hofert-Dailey Trust; The John Randolph Haynes & Dora Haynes Foundation; The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, UCLA and U.S. Bank.

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