Those of us who care deeply about broadcast journalism should, I suppose, be grateful that The Times bothers to run even a token piece on the Southern California Radio-Television News Assn.'s annual Golden Mike Awards ("CBS Stations, KABC-TV Big Winners," by Dennis McDougal, Jan. 12).
Unfortunately, McDougal's snide, shallow and parochial article predictably missed the real point of the ceremony.
It's no surprise--and no story--that the CBS stations were the big winners. They employ top-quality people, do top-quality work--they have set, and will set, the local standard for excellence. But the RINA's Golden Mike Awards do not merely heap more accolades on previously honored champions. They are the local journalism community's acknowledgement of excellence wherever it occurs.
This year's Golden Mikes continued the trend of recognizing smaller news departments, non-commercial stations, and outlying locations far-removed from the hub of L.A.'s high-powered commercial news industry. In several categories (notably news commentary, investigative reporting and documentary), a small TV station or campus National Public Radio affiliate went head-to-head with the big boys--and won.
Sure, local broadcast news has deteriorated in some respects. That's a cheap shot and an old story. The new story--that broadcast news is alive and well and expanding outside the Los Angeles metro area--is the one McDougal was too lazy to cover.
Bellman, the news director at KBIG-FM, won a Golden Mike this year for a radio documentary on the B-1 bomber.