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Broadcast Journalism and Sensational News: Action and Sex in a Nerf World

July 23, 2012

Journalists like neat little stories they can wrap with a bow in 20 seconds.  I get that.  I compare their news stores to calf roping!

Be fast out of the gate.  Chase down the story.  Tie it up and close as fast as you can.  This is action news.

I admit you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.

. it quickie journalism?

Use a short introduction. Add a tease, a chase, and then a quick climax.  End with a knowing smile and a clever exit.  Keep it short and intense.

There.  Do you feel better now?

There is a process of natural selection between the journalist and the audience.  The journalists wouldn’t be selling info-tainment if they didn’t want to excite us.  I understand why their biases show when they report on the Aurora massacre.  I watched their inclination to keep the issue short and simple.  They blame the object rather than the human that put the object into motion.  They report on their biases because they haven’t time to do anything else.  Let’s reduce our energy policy and the budget deficit to sound bites.

Gathering real information and telling real human stories is complicated and difficult to research.  It also takes time to explain.  Journalists find it is better to keep it simple and keep the audience riveted.  Keep it sexy and simple, as short and simple as possible.  That works with their audience.

Blame the bad rock that broke my window.  Blame the bad car that hit someone while I was drunk at the wheel. Blame the bad gun that shot all those people.  Bad bad bad.

Let’s take advocacy journalism a step further and condemn those who enable the bad objects.  Shame on the people who make gasoline for cars and bullets for guns.  Journalists think we should sue the manufacturer of rocks until they only produce nerf rocks.. with soft round edges colored in pastel tones.  Save the wild windows.

Journalists sell quickie news because we buy it.. except for those of us who turned off the TV.  The audience is the other half of natural selection in the media marketplace.  Now whose fault is that?  Who will govern the country while the electorate is numbed each night?  In the market for ideas, we get the journalism that sells.  Shame on us for buying it.

Video at 11.

Knowing smile and clever exit.

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