Mel Hudman recently replaced Mike Barker as the local ABC Big 2 news evening reporter. (Mike Barker - a long time Midland news man - recently left the station for the published reason that his contract was not renewed. There's definitely a story there if only we could learn the behind-the-scenes facts. Perhaps they wanted a good looking young face for the news show, so Mr. Hudman stepped forward... oh wait, maybe that's not the reason.)
So, with Mel Hudman now at the desk it's a different show. Mr. Hudman isn't shy about expressing his opinion, and on a recent show he gave an editorial about how the main stream media is so heavily into broadcasting the negative news from Iraq and ignoring the good news. Blogosphere readers have known that for a long time, and it's very refreshing that a tv news guy is expressing it in public.
So many news people try to keep their political leanings a secret in the mistaken view that their customers want it that way. Where do they learn this? Is this what they're taught in journalism school?
A columnist for the Midland Reporter-Telegram recently wrote a column bragging about how secretive she was outside her own group of co-workers about her politics, and how open minded she is. Well, the truth is that none of us are really open minded about important issues.
And, as for newspaper people, their political leanings creep in whether they realize it or not. After all, they are the people who are selecting which Associated Press articles that they expect us to read.
Don't get me wrong. I like the Midland Reporter-Telegram. It's a great local paper. But, keeping the news reporters' and editors' political leanings a secret isn't really serving the public. Someone suggested a pretty good solution. I don't know who to give credit for this idea, but someone suggested that all news people be required to contribute $1,000 to a political candidate in each presidential election, and their contribution should be publicly disclosed. The dollar amount is enough that they wouldn't want to blow it to skew the listings. And, we the consumers, could factor that into their reports.
But, until that happens, we must celebrate those who take it on themselves to voluntarily disclose their own political views.
Since channel two is an ABC affiliate Mr. Hudman has an uphill battle if he expects to counter all of the biased coverage at the network level. So, more power to you Mr. Hudman.