TV Editorials As Community Service

The recent death of former broadcast journalist Ray Dantzler is a reminder of more than the passing of a respected news anchor and news director. It also reminds us that there once was an era when a local affiliate — the old WTVT, Channel 13 — actually devoted prime time to a nightly editorial.

Dantzler did them. He was no news reader, but a serious journalist who cared enough about the community to research the issues and take on-air editorial stands through most of the 1970s and ’80s. Dantzler’s commentary would be anchored near the end of each 6 p.m. broadcast.

These days there’s not enough room in the format for well-informed, thought-provoking opinion. Well, actually there might be if it were allocated from time spent on soft features, happy talk, self promotions, weather overkill and lead-ins to network reality shows presented as real news.

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