The MediaLog MediaFix: Local Cleveland Newscast from 1977

The three clips in this MediaFix, viewed in order (top to bottom), comprise the entire late-evening local newscast from Cleveland television station WJKW for September 2, 1977. Quite apart from its news content, the newscast is a fascinating example of how local news was presented in the late-1970s, sort of the media equivalent of a prehistoric insect preserved in amber.

From the hairstyles and clothing styles of the anchors (including a female weatherperson) and the chromakey backdrop for the news set to the vertically-sliding weather charts (in a pre-computer graphics era) and use of motion picture film for some of the news reports, the program seems quaint now but serves as a valuable example of the contemporary norms of local news and of the evolution that this kind of broadcast has gone through in the thirty years since. Interesting too is the report on gas prices which expresses relief that rates are back down around the 60 cents per gallon range (!) and the newscast-ending editorial, a kind of segment that is virtually never seen anymore, especially at the local level. With commercials not included, the entire length of the newscast runs about 22-23 minutes, and it's worth the time to get a glimpse of news presentation from this past era.

(Video source: YouTube)

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