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Local TV newscasts actually do want to see pictures of your winter vacation

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Longtime Denver residents understand that snowstorm coverage on local TV newscasts tends to follow a familiar pattern. First, live shots of assorted correspondents freezing their asses off alongside various roads and occasionally holding up handfuls of snow, as if the stuff falling in the background wasn't illustration enough. Next, extended forecast segments loaded with colorful Doppler radar imagery and predictions that generally play up the potential for catastrophe, followed by reports about traffic slowdowns, closures and the like. And once that's done, the crew loops back and does it all over again.

In recent years, however, a new element has entered the picture: photos sent in by viewers. But while this staple can occasionally be useful and interesting (as well as revenue enhancing, particularly on the web, where each mouse click registers as a page view), stations tend to overuse it in this period of short staffing and limited resources. A few pics of people's backyards are okay. But a dozen of them turn viewers into the equivalent of guests at '50s-era dinner parties forced to smile uncomfortably as their hosts cycle through roughly 400 slides they took during their trip to the Grand Canyon. Guess you had to be there.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.