Media analyst Andrew Tyndall, whose Tyndall Report blog is widely read in media-watcher circles, is out with an annual report on the state of the national nightly newscasts (ABC, CBS and NBC).
The report offers a bleak assessment of ABC’s “World News,” anchored by Diane Sawyer:
2013 marks the year when ABC World News finally rejected the mission of presenting a serious newscast. ABC covered all four of the major domestic policy stories least heavily: the Budget debate, the Healthcare rollout, Gun control, and National Security Agency surveillance. Same with foreign policy: ABC spent least time on the civil war in Syria and its chemical weapons disarmament, the military coup in Egypt, and on Afghanistan.
Instead, ABC stepped up its coverage of Sports and Show Business, and highlighted morning-style reporters Ginger Zee (weather) and Paula Faris (personal finance tips). Weather aside, the only major stories that ABC covered competitively were True Crime — the George Zimmerman trial and Ariel Castro’s Cleveland hell house — and Celebrity: London’s baby prince. ABC’s newscast is now certifiably Disneyfied.