I have spent a great portion of my life watching, thinking about and even helping to shape local television news in Milwaukee. So the news that WISN-TV is putting Joyce Garbaciak on the air as a co-anchor at 5 p.m. is one of the few moves that gives me hope that there may be some life left in the skeleton that is almost all local news in Milwaukee.
Channel 12 is the only station in town that I think makes a realistic effort to actually be an outlet for real news that might actually be important to people. The rest of them are all pandering to some of the lowest possible sensibilities of their audience.
Bringing Garbaciak out of semi-retirement (she wanted to be around to raise her children) is another commitment to journalistic integrity that is all too absent from stations in town. She is a wonderful person and a great journalist. She is unafraid of tough issues and has an ability to humanize a story like almost nobody I’ve ever seen. And she does it without being sappy, a tough act for a television reporter.
I don’t gush much. I especially don’t gush much when it comes to local television. As a matter of fact, I’m a bit of a snob about the whole thing. I actually think that television news departments should actually give some consideration to news.
One of the strengths Garbaciak has always had is the ability to recognize the unique things in a particular story. She is no paint by the numbers journalist.
Now that she’s coming back, it’s Milwaukee television viewers who are the winners.
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