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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default News Media, Thy Name Is "SUCK"

    As a guy who's a news junkie, I not only follow current events but I also pay attention to HOW the news is covered. I'm not one of those people who thinks the media have a liberal bais for every story they cover although the fracturing of news outlets has lead to a polarization of increasing singular point of view.

    Right now there are two low-grade stories that the various news and cable news outlets are hyping and there is an interesting hypocracy that has developed that I want to point out. The first story is the Aruba/Natalie Holloway dissapearence. The second is the Cindy Sheehan protest near Crawford Texas.
    In recent weeks, many highbrow media elitest types have been whining publically about the Aruba story. They complain that they feel sleezy and that the Holloway story, while tragic, doesn't warrent the amount of coverage that it has recieved on many cable news networks. The guy on CNN's 360 openly critisized Fox and MSNBC for "wasting their time" on the Aruba case. No doubt because their ratings are better and - saddley - ratings will drive the kinds of stories that cable news will cover. This "forces" CNN to keep up even though you can tell that the anchors are looking down their noses as they do.

    Okay, that's cool. I even agree that the Hollaway case has been run into the ground, dug up, then run back into the ground. Hey, I just flip the channel. Now the twist...

    Starting mid-week least week, the Cindy Sheehan anti-war protest story picked up steam and as of Thursday and Friday she was the lead story. Unlike the Holloway case, this is souly a media driven story. Some news producer in New York thinks this story is important and places it at the top of the broadcast. The hypocracy is this, the media elite who groused about Aruba are now gleefully allowing themselves to be prostituted by a woman who who is using the heroic death of her son to advance her personal political agenda. Sheehan has been an active anti-war actvist and an anti-Bush activist since 2001. Last year, she attended a rally in Berekley CA, where a U.S. soldier was hung in effigee, this while her son was still alive. The media has yet to point any of this out, nor have they asked why the rest of his family isn't there.
    So you have a mother in Aruba trying to find out what happened to her daughter and holding the local police to account, but that's beneath the high-brow media types. Then you have a mother using her dead son to play mind games and the media (some of them) are bending over to play along.

    Interesting...
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    You start two sepparate thread on each issue on here and I have my $50 on that the second one would get x10 more attention. News agencies know that well.
    But a bit of a positive note, my edition of CNN hasn't been covering either of the cases, it's all 100% foreign affairs. Comparing to my local TV, well that's why I watch CNN all the time.

  3. #3
    Outta Space Cowboy Scotty's Avatar
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    As a news editor for a daily paper, I feel like I can contribute to this thread well...

    News editors and broadcast managers are going to give the most attention to what sells papers or gets ratings. Prominent media will always preach journalistic integrity, blah, blah, blah... But the reality is that the news media is no less of a business than your neighborhood Starbucks.

    The PR guys aren't going to say that, but it's the truth.

    In department head meetings, do you think we discuss what city council is up to? Nope. It's all about the revenue and how to get more of it. Period.

    Now, I'm not trying to insinuate that you can't trust the media, but editorial and broadcast decisions are normally made based on what will sell, not what should be more important.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by scotty5150
    As a news editor for a daily paper, I feel like I can contribute to this thread well...

    News editors and broadcast managers are going to give the most attention to what sells papers or gets ratings. Prominent media will always preach journalistic integrity, blah, blah, blah... But the reality is that the news media is no less of a business than your neighborhood Starbucks.

    The PR guys aren't going to say that, but it's the truth.

    In department head meetings, do you think we discuss what city council is up to? Nope. It's all about the revenue and how to get more of it. Period.

    Now, I'm not trying to insinuate that you can't trust the media, but editorial and broadcast decisions are normally made based on what will sell, not what should be more important.

    Thanks for the input Scotty. Way, way back in Journalism class that fact was made clear to us, you had to sell newspapers. Nobody's going to read your story about energy saving tips if they don't buy a paper or tune in to the evening news, so they lead with a sensational story. It's always been that way. Pouring through three decades of microfilm of the local newspaper underlines this point over and over again. It's almost as if there is an element of glee when there's a horrific murder in town. They'd even put murders from Los Angeles and San Francisco on the front page back in the 1940s.

    I guess part of my point is that this has always been the case with the various news mediums and always (hopefully) will be. My problem is that now you have anchor people and big-name journalists openly complaining about the quality or story selection of the news they feel forced to cover. I site Jim Leher (sp) of PBS as a prime example of a top-notch journalist who fields a first rate newscast that almost nobody watches. His stories are thorough and insightful as well as balanced. They are also often slow, each given equal gravity that can interest you or bore you to tears depending on the topic. He wouldn't last three weeks on a major network outlet simply because his ratings would be in the gutter. I wonder if he'd retire from the business if he ever lost the gig at PBS, he'd have to change the way he covers stories and the pace of his show were he on MSNBC, CNN or FOX.
    Somewhere in the mid-1970s, post Watergate jornalism seemed to think that it had changed. Instead of reporting the news, journalists started feeling that they had some kind of sacred duty to "Change the world", to tell the people what was "Really going on". As a result, the new era of reporters and journalists missed the Iran Contra activities, the S&L collapse, the Fall of the Soviet Union and the goings-on at Enron and WorldCom. That's not to say that there weren't reporters who spotted these events and wrote about them, the thing was that those stories were way back near the want-adds or ran at 2:00am on CNN only once.

    The reason that I didn't give the topic a different title is that it's not about the two stories, it's about the news media's attitudes towards the two stories. Technically you have two mothers with dead kids who are looking for justice. The difference is that Holloway's mother wasn't running around Aruba for the last six years critical of the Aruban prosecutor's office. The idea that the story is a waste of airtime would be valid except that they then waste that airtime with Sheehan. How much have you seen about the large offensive taking place in Afghanistan? Less than 20 seconds, Iraq only makes the news when Americans die, when Iraqis die by the truck-load it only rates a passing mention...maybe. My problem is that some of the grumpy anchor-types seem to be unaware that their own brand of shit also stinks.

    Look, I like a little sleeze and a little sensationalism with my morning read. That's the way that the news has been written since they invented the printing press. I wish Anderson Cooper and his ilk would get over themselves and just give me the news, good, bad and ugly.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Around the mid 80's here in South Florida, a local tv station lost it's affiliation with a major network(bare in mind this was before Fox or UPN existed).

    Rather than languish or wither on the vine, quite the opposite occurred.

    A young guy, I believe his name was Joel Cheatwood(sp), took over the news department at this station.

    He came up with a repulsive idea for a news broadcast: "If it bleeds, it leads". He would literally send camera crews out to accidents and crime scenes, which as you are aware, we have plenty of.

    To further enhance attention, he started the news broadcasts at 10PM, a full hour ahead of the networks, and started hiring attractive "news-readers", as opposed to actual journalists.

    Within a few short months this station was making money hand over fist, and when the fledgling Fox "network" (which only "broadcast" a few nights per week) came along, they were brought on board.

    It was a match made in heaven, as Fox would try anything for attention, also.

    Soon other independants learned the value of this new way of presenting news, thus spreading it like wildfire, and sooner rather than later, the networks had fallen behind thanks to not only the explosion of the independants, yet the introduction of cable news as well.

    Cheatwood has gone on to much success in the industry, basically reusing the same template that he formulated in Florida.

    And television viewers are forever left trying to wipe off the slime that has been left behind.

    I used to truly enjoy and admire the old "MacNeil/Lehrer Report".

    Sadly, I'm not the news freak that I once was, for a variety of reasons.

    The above is but one reason.

    ...craig
    Last edited by chefcraig; 08.14.05 at 04:11 AM.
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  6. #6
    The Joker BradS's Avatar
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    I agree with you Axx. The media is a twisted sort, but…I think Cindy Sheehan should be allowed to say what she wants as well as Natalie Holloway’s mother. The media is going to put spins on everything…look at FOX, but the point to me is that they have a right to speak. The point Sheehan is trying to make should be heard, not torn down because of what she has said/done in the past, or who she keeps close to her.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    The point Sheehan is trying to make should be heard, not torn down because of what she has said/done in the past, or who she keeps close to her.
    She was at an anti-war rally where a soldier was hung in effigy. Maybe her public beating should be broadcast live.

  8. #8
    The Joker BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfiddl
    She was at an anti-war rally where a soldier was hung in effigy. Maybe her public beating should be broadcast live.

    She still has a right to speak.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    Again, it's not about Sheehan or her right to free speach, I'm in no why questioning that. I'm questioning that "Media Elite" who've been bitching about all the coverage of Aruba and how they feel that they're wasting valuable airtime/column space on one mother's missing (most likely dead) kid, only to have the same folks turn around and give Sheehan a platform without the propper ethical veting that they would if she were..I don't know..a Swift Boat Vet.

    Out here we have the advantage of KTVU Channel 2 in Oakland/SF. For the longest time they were an independant station that a few years ago signed on with FOX for their network content. KTVU's news has always been great, it is still unmatched for regional coverage and they are probably the only local, California station with a full-time Sacramento reporter. For instance, they are about ten years ahead of the rest of the country on the chrystal-meth problem. One of the reasons it's on my radar are stories they did back in the 1990s. Their news cast has always been a 10 O'Clock and has always been an hour long. The fact that they've been able to do this speaks to both financial and ratings viability of quality newscasts. They've also been blessed by talented reporters too. In fact,by 1994 the rest of the Bay Area networks followed suit and expanded their 6:00pm broadcasts to and hour or even an hour and a half down here in Monterey.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    She still has a right to speak.
    Where did I say she didn't?

  11. #11
    The Joker BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfiddl
    Where did I say she didn't?
    I didn't say that you did. I was just restating my opinion.

  12. #12
    Good Enough Ace Ventura's Avatar
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    Default My name is....

    This is kind of funny but from the title of this thread, I was thinking of the tune from Primus, "My name is mud". .... got me singing.... "Thy name is SUCK!!!"

    I have no intelligent banter to add to this particular thread at the moment... you're welcome...
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    Hey, a snappy thread title is half the battle.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  14. #14
    Wear the fox hat... Filthy 150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfiddl
    She was at an anti-war rally where a soldier was hung in effigy. Maybe her public beating should be broadcast live.
    The rating would be huge!
    Both the supportive and the appaled would be salivating before it aired.
    Talk about reality TV.

    OK, cynicism aside, I have to say that the media needs some sort of overhaul. In college a poli/sci prof. told us to use a stopwatch while watching the news, starting it when 'actual news' was being broadcast, and stopping it while commercials and fluff were on. There was around 12-15 minutes of NEWS there. This was the early 90's. I'd hate to see the # now.

    Imagine how much news there would be w/ no advertising.
    Imagine the non-sensationalism if news was commercial-free.
    Imagine if monkeys flew out of my ass.
    Probably just as likely to happen.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    I didn't say that you did. I was just restating my opinion.
    Her right to speak is not your opinion. It is a matter of law

    Or do you believe those 'laws' are from a living, ever-changing document?

    You're definitely a candidate for my new reality show...

 

 

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