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News, Disney Style

March 04, 1990

Re "Disney in TV Land/The Gamble," Feb 25: All that talk about the trucks, the sets, newscaster Jerry Dunphy's $5 million--no, not from Disney, from Steve Weinstein's article. Heck, Calendar covered a "news" show in the entertainment section. That sort of says it all. Nary a word about what will fill up those three hours of air time.

TV news' excuse for shallowness has always been "not enough time." That excuse is evaporating. TV news organizations have done well covering events or developments that come to them. But they seldom go out to look for stories--ostensibly what a journalist does.

News has become a parade of talking heads passing along what spokespersons, press releases and (paid, biased) "analysts" say.

It would be nice if KCAL Channel 9 would invest in people brave and smart enough to fill those three hours with reporters who explore the whys of a story, who will ask tough questions, who go looking for news--"to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." If they do--they'll succeed. If not, yawn.

ALEX TORRALBAS

Venice

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