I might be a bit opinionated about broadcast news

October 18, 2004

Scott Rosenberg recently posted about watching very little television and no broadcast news.

After reading the comments, I added my own… and realized that I don’t have much respect for broadcast news:

Well, I’ll defend television a bit – as an entertainment medium.

I love to watch the Cartoon Network (Adult Swim) and Nickelodeon/Disney/etc. with my son. Cartoons are fun, entertaining and educational at times. Oh, and we just started watching LazyTown – very fun.

However, I haven’t been a devotee of television news for about 15 years. I was a fresh faced broadcast journalism major, recently graduated and working for KTVX in Salt Lake City. Since I didn’t have the experience to work in the News department but plenty of technical experience, I was working in Production: Camera, CG, Audio, Videotape, etc. I got to watch a small but major market package up the news without having to actually do it.

I was nauseated. The occasional journalist that was trying to educate/inform/document what was going on was smothered by the marketing director, ‘news’ director and GM, all trying to outdo the other two stations in getting a more inflammatory headline. The longer I worked there the more I realized that it wasn’t journalism but entertainment – and I wasn’t cut out for it.

I’ve regarded almost every other news organization in the same light and been saddened to realize that the few that do care about doing a good journalistic job are few and far between.

However, I recently came to the realization that entertainment which secretly doubles as news is wonderful – hence the Daily Show. Don’t watch much but I sure enjoy it when I do… and, occasionally, learn something.

In re-reading before posting, I noticed that I don’t have a positive view on broadcast television news… but you probably noticed that already.

Wow. I didn’t realize I still had that strong of an opinion about this subject.

On a side note, while I won’t pretend to be reporting news on this site, I will follow as closely as I can to my personal code of ethics. However, I haven’t yet posted them for y’all to compare to so you’ll just have to take my word for now that I do have SOME ethical leanings. Professor Byrne would be proud, I hope.

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