Red White & Blue Hens

College students in Delaware who think right is right, and left is wrong. We study hard, party hard, and play hardball.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Once again on 24/7 news

My reference to the News Media in a previous post was not regarding its political bias one way or the other, but more towards its structure. The 24 hour news cycle has created a sense in News Rooms that they have to keep attention on their channel at all times. What better way to keep attention than to loop amazing pictures of disaster. Those things certainly need to be reported, just like the casualties and acts of violence in Iraq and elsewhere need to be reported. My beef with the system is that is fails to talk about or show stories/pictures of succesfull things due to inherent qualities that make them less eye-catching. (good news in not news)
What is more likely to catch your attention as you flip through channels, or decide to remain upon a channel:
a) video of a starving mob of American citizens pleading to circling helicopters for help
b)video of a convoy of 18 wheelers donated by businesses and private citizens navigating hazardous roads to reach vicitms

Hmm... I would choose a) as would most others. The people in the news rooms know this too, so they make the right choice for their channel.

What I am saying is that this often leads to a vast misunderstanding on the part of the viewer/consumer. Same goes with an average news story on Iraq in any American news paper: lead speaks of occurences of violence and death, middle passage mentions causalty numbers and recent trends, last few paragraphs speak of progress in political and military missions. As a former newspaper editor, all of this makes perfect sense.

All I am saying is show/speak of/write about all parts of the story, and maybe once in a while flip the usual pattern around for those who don't have the time to read the 15th paragraph or watch Washington Journal on C-span
Is that so much to ask?


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