Have you watched your local TV newscast lately? If so, did you feel as if they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for things to tell you in an attempt to at least keep you entertained? With so many ways to get news these days, it seems that many of the traditional news channels are attaching the term "news" to just about anything they can use to capture your attention. In my area there are often stories about one neighbor cutting another neighbor's tree down and cat owners getting angry about dog attacks in a certain part of town. News flash! Dogs chase cats! I'm glad I have a local news team primed and ready to report this.

My conclusion is that with 24-hour news channels and the internet, local news reports are desperately trying to remain relevant. In my opinion, they are failing miserably. When I see the local news on in my house, I find myself almost immediately reaching for my remote so that I can change the channel. If they are not using inane teases to keep me watching commercials, they are reporting on the most trivial "news" items one can imagine. It is actually very sad.

For example, consider what happens with the weather reports. The weather anchor spends five minutes covering information that I can get almost instantly on my PC or phone. Then he says "stay tuned for your extended local forecast" and I am supposed to sit patiently and listen to a local used-car salesman yell at me about how my trade-in is worth more than ever. "Get in here now!", he says. Then finally I get to hear my local forecast. Of course, all of this is information that I've already gotten to in seconds using the phone in my pocket. Why would I watch this?