Sunday, June 27, 2010
PS: ON THE "NEWS" MEDIA
Just a quick response to those who have commented on this blog or in email or conversation about my lamenting of the lack of engaging visuals and technical variety on the major news sources on TV (at least FOX, as much as I despise it's obvious rightwing agenda pumps up their "news" shows with a few lame bells and whistles).
My point is that many people still get their news from cable and network news shows and it is these that lack the technical innovation (with exceptions like The Daily Show proving the rule since their viewership is so much less in comparison to CNN or the networks) and excitement and ability to engage that network news was once capable of (to the level technically possible at the time) and great documentaries have, etc.
Remember the footage of Viet Nam as it was happening (for those old enough?). That turned almost an entire generation into news junkies, because there was so much raw footage from the actual war exposed on the network news, as well as of the demonstrations at home etc.
Now we get a talking head, even if on site, or some standard streaming video that is repeated endlessly (the classic generic vehicle-being-blown-up etc.). There are a few exceptions. That field reporter on NBC, Richard Engel, is a daring, old-style journalist, who along with his cameraman gets some amazing stuff.
But where's the in-depth AND technically explosive stuff that is 21st Century cutting edge?
The best reporting I've seen so far on the World Cup and its impact on local South Africans came, again, from John Stewart's The Daily Show, where John Oliver—the English "correspondent"—actually interviewed local food vendors who aren't allowed within a one mile radius of the stadium in order not to compete with international corporations like Coca Cola and MacDonald's!
Imagine what could be done with that if The Daily Show had the resources of CNN or NBC etc.
I know there's stuff online that does some of what I'm asking for, but there are still many folks who don't get their news from the web. And it's a different experience watching a news show you know is being seen by millions of others at exactly the same time, with that sense of a community coming to some conclusions as a result of a media presentation (ala American Idols et. al.), and a variety of conclusions at that (as opposed to partisan response to partisan news sources on the web).