Making News EntertainingNovember 5, 2007 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed
The younger viewers they want to attract get their news online or from Jon Stewart. They’re never going to sit down at “dinner time” and watch the evening news like their parents did.
So Charles Gibson will continue to win the evening news war because Boomers and their parents, who are more comfortable with traditional news, will watch him, while Xers will get the news where I stated.
See, this is what is happening in news right now and I agree with Sharon.
There are some odd things happening on how people watch and read their news. I get stuck in two camps of thinking on this a great deal as I’m older than some, more progressive than others and living in a dire state of trying to juggle two worlds.
Although I by no means think that traditional news is dead, I do think it’s changing and folks that work in news are going to have to embrace those changes. Students studying for journalism degrees right now are being taught how to shoot video and how to disperse news in more than just the traditional avenues of print or television/radio broadcasting.
Problem is, no one really knows what to do. Some folks are cutting edge, but it’s still a gamble and an on-going work-in-progress. Some things work, others don’t and folks like myself are just rolling the dice.
Blogging is keeping ideas flowing, especially in the last five years, but it could be said that the market is getting inundated. WordPress alone has signed on with 700,000 new blogs in the last year. Not everyone has a blog, but a lot more people do than in the two years since I began Newscoma.
So is blogging news? No, and yes. It depends on how individuals utilize those self-publishing platforms when you get right down to it. Folks like Enclave, Sean Braisted and Bill Hobbs from the other side of the political fence have broken news and promoted ideas in more of a conventional news model while utilizing some of the political punditry that this country has embraced in the last decade.
The other problem is, and this is just my opinion, that the news has been watered down but anyone who has read this blog during it’s infancy and toddlerhood know that I’ve been saying that since the beginning.
Britney Spears, campers, is a good example. It’s not the news of Edward R. Murrow, as Sharon uses in her post, but it is news because this is the sort of story mainstream media outlets are using to obtain that Xer audience to a degree. Lindsey Lohan going to rehab and then staying sober since she got out is headline news and it’s done for ratings. She is not a hero, she is a celebrity who is in recovery. A person elevated into a world of compulsive voyeurism created by corporate media. People apparently want to see this although it chaps me but it’s what the “new” media has generated, and fabricated to a large extent.
Is traditional media training a new generation that celebrity shenanigans is just as important as political policy? Are we, as a nation, changing the news appetites of a new generation?
A story like the Watergate break-in and it’s progression in the public eye through how it was presented by the media of the mid-70′s would not happen in this day and age. Hell, Valerie Plame, Halliburton and Blackwater barely made blips on the map except in some partisan environments.
On the other hand, I think Brian Williams might have done SNL for a couple of reasons. He is funny, we’ve seen him hold his own time and time again on The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart. But I think Sharon’s right that they are wanting to show the staunch guy from NBC to a new audience. Ted Koppel had a dry sense of humor, but you only really saw that on The Late Show with David Letterman.
When I was in broadcasting and was a news director at a radio station, one of the biggest brawls I ever got into was with an advertising person who, without my knowledge, sold a commercial where I was supposed to read it as if it were a breaking news story. It was a shoe ad. I balked and raised unGodly hell over it. I thought it diluted the news. This argument went on for a couple of weeks, but eventually I won the battle. This was roughly 15 years ago. Today, I most likely would have been told to do the the ad and to shut up by management.
But, there are new outlets that are exciting. Much of this is online. Who would have thought my employees and I would be shooting video even a year ago? Not me, by any stretch of the imagination.
News is changing, there is no doubt. As technology, citizen journalism hosted on free self-publishing platforms (blogs) and the blurring of “hard” news and entertainment fluff continues, I am interested to see what will be the standard in two years, five years and beyond.
I’m thinking we are in the middle of a revolution and don’t even know it.