The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012


April 17, 2007


Big Networks Have Jumped The Proverbial Shark

Or, so the WaPo laments:

“Everyone can appreciate the business pressure that the networks are under, but when did they [start] ceding their responsibility to cover these stories?” said Tom Kunkel, the dean of the University of Maryland’s journalism school. “It does kind of make you wonder how big a blood bath there has to be warrant their attention in prime time. How bad does it have to be to supplant ‘Dancing With the Stars’?”

I actually got this story sent to my by my buddy Jim, who gave his own thoughts on it via email, with which I heartily agree.

with this. obviously it was newsworthy, it led every newscast in the country and was on the front page of every newspaper i looked at today from overseas. but how much more did we NEED to know last night? Had things changed? Were we headed to war? How would exploiting the tragic event for an extra three hours of coverage have helped fulfill the networks’ responsibilities to the nation?

Below is my response to his email…

——————————————————————

I hear you on this one, Jim… You know what this article is lamenting? Not that the big networks didn’t cover this, but that the big networks are no longer the driver of the news cycle:

“They’d rather run reruns than preempt their regular programming,” Rosenstiel said. “It’s not a surprise, but it is unfortunate. If the networks have lost their role as arbiters of what’s significant in our culture, then they’ve been complicit in that loss.”

They’ve been outdone. They can throw up the local news at 11, but really. If you wanted coverage, where were you going to turn? CNN. Fox News. The internet.

We don’t need the big networks to be the main arbiter of how to handle the news. We’ve got much more specialized avenues of getting that information that do a much better job. Yes, that may mean that Granny Eunice, with her rabbit ears on top of her 19″ Zenith, doesn’t get the same sort of news she got back in the old days. So what? She can wait until the news at 11, or she can catch it on the Paul Harvey show on her hi-fi.

What really gets me, though, is that when you actually watch the constant coverage of cable news, you begin to see that sometimes the news cycle is faster than the actual news:

“Well, although we just talked to him 12 minutes ago, we’re going to go back on scene with John Ondaspot, who is standing outside the Virginia Tech building where this all happened. John?”

“Well, Wolf, if you can see behind me, you’ll see that one of the detectives has moved 6 feet to the left of where he was 12 minutes ago. Other than scratching his ass, he hasn’t really done a whole lot since. No new information has been released on the gunman, of course, and probably won’t for several hours. Back to you, and I’ll check in with you in another 12 minutes.”

Worthless, the whole damn lot of them. Life got much better when I sold my TV.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 5:48 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, News, Ponderings, Snark

2 Comments

  1. Wow. Used to be, people complained that the news networks didn’t focus on real issues, and instead focused solely on gory spectacles. Now we’re complaining that they’re ignoring the gory spectacles?

    Comment by Phil Welch — April 17, 2007 @ 6:04 pm
  2. Brad, I think they are “happy” when the news is gory. We watched major league baseball and a movie.

    Comment by Lucy Stern — April 18, 2007 @ 12:21 am

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