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Local Columnists

TALKING POINTS: Ratings part of dramatic hurricane TV coverage


There’s no doubt ratings are a big consideration for TV network news executives in sending reporters, meteorologists and storm chasers out in violent weather.

Before you get too critical, remember TV and cable companies are for-profit private companies investing in the reporting to provide the coverage. Advertising pays the bills.  

Those professionals on the scene risk their lives to tell the story from a human perspective. Pictures from drones or sheltered cameras are just part of it.

Some of the interviews with victims might seem a little invasive or dumb, as in “what’s it like seeing your home destroyed?” Or “were you scared?” But, it does serve to encourage many fellow Americans to contribute private money to aid in the recovery.

The dramatic coverage also plays a big part in uniting the country.

It’s a good bet a majority of us have been glued to TV for hurricane coverage this year despite the frequent criticism of the medium.

Just go away
Much has been written and said about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s new book about her loss to President Donald Trump in 2016.

“What Happened” is no doubt on the must read list of many political junkies whether they like or despise her. 

And, last week former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich resurfaced from his prison in Colorado thanks to Chicago media.

Whatever you think of either Clinton or Blago, although there’s no comparison between them, they will go away…eventually.

Are you ready for 2018?
Primary election petition kits are now available in Illinois for next year’s local and statewide elections.

Election officials in many jurisdictions have already sent out new voter registration cards after updating their records.

Candidates are on the trail, the ads are slowly going up and political operatives are beginning to find work again as the countdown has begun to the March Illinois primary.

Is it ever too early to seriously prepare to cast an informed vote?

And in other sports

OK, Cub fans, take a deep breath. It’s about clinch time.

The Cubs are going to make it into the playoffs again this year, so enjoy the ride. Get ready to fly that “W” flag again this fall.

There’s no doubt the Cubs will win another World Series. Whether it’s this year again or not might still be up in the air.
  • JIM FRENCH, of Ottawa, is retired after 43 years in radio broadcasting, including 33 in Ottawa. You may reach Jim through The Times by emailing

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