Newspaper Cutbacks Means Less Real News - More Sex
Let's face it: TV and radio stations rely on the local newspaper for most of their news. So what happens to those "rip and read" broadcasters as print staffs shrivel amid the draconian layoffs strafing the newspaper industry? Print journalists have long chafed at broadcast media pilfering their stories, often without bothering to credit the source. The thinness in assembling TV news -- and the manner in which they use newspapers as de facto tip sheets and newsgathering surrogates - has long been one of broadcasting's dirty little secrets.
Several experienced New York TV Reporters were "let go" recently. This is a national cost cutting trend in local television news that can only make TV news' already weakened ability to go beyond rip and read news content even weaker. High definition will guarantee even more inexpensive, and inexperienced anchors and reporters . Why you ask? It's simple really -- only 20- and 30-years-olds look good on high definition. Even though the seasoned reporter might deliver invaluable information, some idiot from some focus group tells the corporations " I just hate her hair!" The corporations next move? An ad -- fresh meat wanted. . . Secret tape of next years new NY local TV news program.
As newspapers go out of business and experienced reporters leave, local news will have more time for ratings grabbers “Happy Talk” also called banter. It may consist of simple jokes or simply a modified wording in asking a question of another reporter. For instance, instead of a simple handoff to a sportscaster, an anchor might say, "So, Dave, what the heck happened out on that field today? Is our team going down the tubes?"
Today, most Americans say they get most of their information from local television news. How well are local broadcasters living up to the public interest promises they made in order to get their licenses? Edward R. Murrow answered that question 50 years ago. “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box."
TV News consultants design sexy reporting "happy talk" news formats not with the idea to inform but with the goal of attracting high ratings. That role for TV news was not as dangerous, with strong newspapers fulfilling the role of informing the public with what they need to know. As print fades, the fallout promises to hasten broadcast news' descent as well -- from "Rip and read" to simply "read it and weep." Our Democracy is in serious trouble.
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Times' Editorial Suppressing the Vote in Florida The Florida Legislature is at it again — threatening to pass bills that would make it harder for eligible voters to register and vote.True News Says Times Should Look At Their Own House First!
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