I’ve mentioned this issue before, but an item on this mornings Morning Edition caught my ear.  The White House is hosting a group of “local news anchors” with an eye to “bypassing” the major media reporters who normally cover the President.

Its a bit more complicated than that, and evidence of some sophisticated thinking in the Executive Branch–perhaps.  We need to remember that the local news audience, in aggregate, is the national audience.  It totals more than three times the audience for the national network news, and more than ten times the cable news audience.

So what it thinks and how it handles national news matters. And no one studies it. We have no idea how national politics figure in its voice.  We do know it does cover national news, and I think studies are sorely needed of how local anchors handle the big national stories.

My anecdotal observations lead me to suspect that they introduce a note of skepticism and mediation as they do. But we simply don’t  know.  But its not simply a matter of the White House seeking to bypass the more responsible and critical national correspondents, though it is clearly partly that.

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