My letter to Channel 7 Eyewitness News

by Matthew LaBanca


Dear Eyewitness News,

I've watched your broadcasts for years, but I've reached a point where I could no longer stay silent regarding the following:

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It's very disheartening to see that so many stories on your news program call attention to acts of violence and crime.  I know you cover other types of stories as well, but your reports on hit and runs, shootings, and other heartbreaking events are given the primary focus.  They are used to hook viewers into watching, and very often lead your broadcast as the top story.  

I believe this is an unhealthy, backwards way of thinking.  When you focus so often on these negative acts, you perpetuate more of the same, by bringing your millions of viewers into a downward spiral, whether they realize it or not.

Of course, I understand that you have a responsibility to your viewers.  With an active crime story, for example, we need to be informed for safety's sake.  But in general, why give the focus to so many of these disheartening stories?  If ratings are even a small factor in that answer, I ask you:  are the ratings REALLY worth it?  These stories give attention to events we don't want to happen, and in turn, create a breeding ground for more hurt and heartbreak.  That's simply how it works:  what you focus on expands.

Please, for all of our sakes, minimize the attention on these negative reports.  Give them less focus and air time.   Perhaps consolidate them into a Police Blogger or a short "For Your Safety" section of the news,which would keep us informed of local concerns, but would give us the space to put our primary focus on the acts of charity, hope, and call to creative action of which this city is so capable.

With your good will at the helm, and with so many people watching your broadcast, the shift to a more healthy, peaceful, and loving society would happen so much more quickly than it is happening now.  This isn't a pipe dream.  You could really make a big difference.  You could really inspire your viewers.  You have such talented people on your team and could easily be the beacon that takes this necessary shift further.  

Please make a difference.  Our city, and our society, need your help.  You could make so much good happen, for all of us.

Thank you for considering my request.  

Most sincerely,

Matthew LaBanca