Back in the days before broadcast news was meant to make money, it was meant to inform the public. It was competing with the written word of newspapers and news magazines. This was well before the age of info-tainment.
News on television was trying to use the immediacy of motion on a screen to grab the attention of those who would otherwise never have any idea what was going on in the world outside their small area. In many cases it worked. Knowledge was transferred effortlessly, and usually unconsciously.
People who were very good at communicating, and being fatherly, usually held these jobs. They made the good news a great thing, and the bad news palatable, through patient explanation of ramifications and remedies. These people were well known to us, having been seen on the various networks for many years.
Today, the people who read the news are not great communicators, and some could never be fatherly. They show no evidence of concern for us, they are motivated to the position by the increased financial gains or notoriety. As hard as it may be to do, it is probably time to return to reading news. Entertainment value aside, the variety and depth of television network news are at new lows. Of course, the actual news itself is highly repetitive. It carries the same patterns day after day.
Almost any segment begins with a video clip of the President committing another egregious error while trying to seem affable. Next comes a picture of some famous actor being perp-walked for drunk driving or disorderly behavior. Thrown in for good measure is an unknown athlete who has just won a contest previously held only for farm animals. The broadcast ends with the obligatory reference to how life was years ago, which can basically summed up as ‘back when things were normal.’
Good news? That is only reported sporadically, usually being the rescue of a beloved animal from a driving incident involving Mr. Magoo.
Perhaps we should hold off on reading until something new happens.
[tags]news, television, infotainment, network anchor[/tags]