Recently, there's been a little mini-brew-ha-ha in some TV markets during ratings periods about some stations running contests and giving away cash during their newscasts. Some think this is borderline unethical and beneath the "lofty" standards of "good journalism." I'm not one of them. These days, with the economy and increased competition for viewers from cable, satellite tv and the internet, it's an all out grab for all these businesses can dream up to hang on to their increasingly shrinking number of viewers. It's nothing that radio stations haven't tried for years to lure listeners. Applying that tactic to local tv news seems like a no-brainer to me. They need viewers, and us viewers need cash!
Those with a "holier than thou" attitude toward the practice should realize that the broadcasting businesses is indeed a business, first. Conscientious journalists should continue to do their best to uphold their standards, but in between, lighten up, and give me the cash! In fact, I think the practice should be expanded to non-sweeps times too!