By Doug Halberstadt
There is a saying in the television news business, “If it bleeds, it leads.” This refers to the order of the stories being shown. You always run your biggest story first.
To a certain degree, this also applies to the sports segment of the local nightly news programs. It’s usually common practice to lead with the biggest local sports story first. At least that’s the way it was when I earned my broadcast journalism degree several years ago.
That’s why I was shocked while watching last Saturday night’s (Feb. 12) sports on our local CBS affiliate. Someone there made the decision to lead with the Auburn vs. Moline non-conference high school boys’ basketball game. They followed that story with two national stories, one about the NBA and the other featuring the Chicago Blackhawks. Finally, and much to my dismay, they reported on the high school girls’ bowling tournament that was held here in Rockford.
In my opinion, this should have been the lead sports story that evening. This was a big sporting event held right here in our town. Not only that, but the top team in the state was from Machesney Park Harlem High School, and the team that finished third was from Rockford Jefferson High School. Two out of three of the top high school girls’ bowling teams in the state are from our area, and they didn’t warrant the lead sports story that evening. Why not?
I’m not sure who made the decision to run the girls’ state bowling story after the three previously-mentioned stories, but I think it was a big mistake, and a disservice to the members of the Harlem and Jefferson girls’ bowling teams. Why did they have to take a back seat to a high school boys’ non-conference basketball game and two other stories with little or no local impact?
Nothing can be done about this oversight now, but I hope in the future our weekend television sports crew will remember their responsibility to all of the local teams.
In case you missed it, here are the complete results:
Team standings: 1. Machesney Park Harlem, 12,533; 2. Plainfield Central, 12,185; 3. Rockford Jefferson, 12,020; 4. Herrin, 11,773; 5. Oswego, 11,757; 6. Mt. Prospect, 11,644; 7. Antioch, 11,603; 8. Hoffman Estates, 11,598; 9. Minooka, 11,571; 10. Dixon, 11,543; 11. Sterling, 11,197; and 12. DeKalb, 10,935.
Congratulations to Harlem and Jefferson!
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.