by msabaye

I have been listening to the news for a long time and thinking, something doesn't feel quite right, but what? I mean beyond what is wrong with the world. Specifically, the way news is broadcast. There is something curious about it.

As an example, here is what I hear:

There was a sunny day on x street in y town. People walked up and down z path, chatting, shopping, eating when h (an event) took place. q, a grandmother of two living in b, was shocked. (we hear the voice of q): I have two grandchildren. I was shocked...   

I think I now know what doesn't feel right. For one thing, news is aired not as reporting what happened (brief, accurate, and to the point) but to get me, the listener, to experience the setting and circumstances. But the news is not a story, is it? It is collection of facts and reports of events, why should I want/have to experience it? This is not an art/literature piece, it is a fact, unchanged by clouds, sun, rain. If someone murdered ten people, sun or rain or snow on the day ten people died wouldn't make any difference.  So why are they telling me about it? If I want to experience something, I turn to literature, to art, not to news.

The other thing is all these personal eyewitness accounts. The reporter quotes someone, and then we hear the same thing from an eyewitness. This can be important if it is to verify some incredible, long anticipated, or highly controversial announcement/subject/event, but if the whole piece is about finding broken glass in a park (as I have experienced many times on CBC Radio), I don't see how personal accounts of every parent adds to the value/authenticity of the report. It adds a personal touch, an unnecessary one in my opinion, and fills up air time.

I suppose everything is becoming more personal, less formal. I am not sure why. Boundaries in Personal, private, and public realms, in formal and casual get more and more blurry. But perhaps boundaries become less visible, less defined in every aspect of public and media interactions. Where does it come from? I haven't figured out yet.


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What is happening ...

by Midwesty on

across the media is the indication of the downfall of hardcore journalism and professionalism. They know drama sells so they convert everything to drama TO SELL.

You are not alone in feeling this way about the media as their approval rating and a constant shrinkage in size of their audience confirm this.

Luckily, Internet is slowly filling the void, hopefully fast enough before the media emperors monopolize it all together.

Let's hope!

Good post! Thanks!   


I have a theory

by Monda on

That due to people getting the local news more and more off the internet, TV channels try too hard to incorporate what the Net cannot offer - the ambiance-related (more human) elements. They go so far as to add the unnecessary elements around a specific piece to the point of making it into a soap opera.  At least here in the US that's the way it is on the most watched TV channels.  It's turned into a show, Not news broadcasting.  And I'm sure it sells more that way.  Bottom line is always the money, unfortunately.

I have stopped watching any news channels except for maybe Jim Lehrer's, couple of times a week, only when there's a debate that interests me (healthcare for example).  Most days I prefer to hear the news on the radio, specifically on NPR (public broadcasting). And for local news I read the local newspapers on the net. Like you I have no patience for the unnecessary selling points of a piece of news.   

ناتور دشت

The art of conformation

by ناتور دشت on

I'm sure that you have already heard of make-believe media; but you don't want to believe it maybe.