Media group says small companies provide best news

WASHINGTON: According to recent findings by a media watchdog group, smaller media companies produce better local television news.

WASHINGTON: According to recent findings by a media watchdog group, smaller media companies produce better local television news.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism's (PEJ) five-year study of newscasts concluded that smaller station groups led to a higher standard of journalism.

Some of the criteria used in the study were balance, accuracy, and authoritativeness.

"Stations in smaller station groups are more tied to their communities, and there's more focus on the stations themselves," said Amy Mitchell, the PEJ's associate director.

The study, which analyzed 23,000 stories from 172 stations, was released as the FCC considers lifting a cap on how many stations a company may own.

Gary Weitman, VP of corporate communications for the Tribune Company, owner of the fifth-largest station group, said, "We have a very strong commitment to news. We don't attempt to dictate news coverage from corporate headquarters in Chicago. Our business philosophy has been structured along the lines of putting the best people in the markets, and letting them make decisions."

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