In college I got a roommate from Calif, family presumably had a TV. I came from a medium size midwest town but we had a tiny TV and we rarely watched it. She believed there were a lot of kidnappings/ child murders, and when I said I almost never heard of any, we decided there were a lot of these in CALIFORNIA! Then CNN and Desert Storm 24/7 coverage and I realised my room mate was told about every child murder in the US, and these seemed to be local news, whereas I heard of almost none, and only those actually affecting my town. I expect her TV stations were ‘ahead’ of ours in this trend you describe.