Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Media...The Use and Abuse...

As I grew up the news came into my home via a radio, newspaper, magazine, or newsreels at the movie theater. Later on we were able to afford to buy a television set. It was small and black and white. The news when we got it was not this instantaneous gratifacation type thing.

A few days ago in Rochester, New Hampshire someone took hostages at the Clinton campaign office. I will be the first to admit that this was a horrendous thing to happen to anyone. And, I truly felt sorry for the people in the situation and wished them no harm.

From the moment it became knowledge, the local television station was on the scene! This was maybe 1:30 in the afternoon...from that time on...most channels were glued to this situation. Now I don't know about you but there was nothing interesting about

1) looking at a patrol car which was blocking a street;
2) looking down an empty street;
3) watching microphones being set up for someone to tell us what is going on.

And, no matter what local or news channel you tuned to - it was the same scene. And this, in my humble opinion, mockery of covering the new continued for five hours! (I was not glued to the tv, in case, you are wondering...but, I was channel surfing a lot during that time looking for something else to watch including the evening news!)

Leland Whatever-the-f***-his-last-name-is got just what he wanted! Hell, he even told his son "to watch the news".

Duh...

Are we as journalists (yes, I can call myself that as I've made my living writing for newspapers, magazines, and even books) so hard up for newsworthy events that we have to give these idiots what they want? How long are we going to allow people like that to use and abuse not only the media but the people who wish to hear the news in a quick concise evening broadcast?

I always knew there was a reason that I never wanted to write "hard news" and why I always wrote the fluff pieces...things that were interesting - but didn't have that "life and death" urgency or need to be published "right now".

I didn't want to be one of the ones used and abused by the Leland Whatever-the-f***-his-last-name-is of the world.

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8 Comments:

At 1:58 PM, Blogger November Rain said...

michelle sent me...

yes I dont like it when the News hi-jacks my radio or TV

I mean tell me it happen then on a commercial update it but to be glued to the TV no not interested

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Blond Girl said...

Hi Sara, from Michele and me. I agree. There are times when you need to know minute-by-minute what is happening. I appreciated the coverage in the midst of 9/11, though even that got oppressive quickly. If I were a journalist, I too would have to do "fluff". I love human interest, but not human minutia.

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger Dak-Ind said...

greetings from Michele...

i know what you mean about once the story is found nothing else is reported. Currently we are havinga nice wind storm. there are reporters all over the state freezing cold and telling us over and over, yep its windy. no power outages, no floods nothing yet, just windy. and no other news story is being reported as long as we are in a wind crisis. sigh.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger colleen said...

Hi Sara, I agree!

I don't think they are likely fluff pieces that you write. More everyday people stories. I just got finished saying to my husband how I just realized that part of what I like to do with writing is show people in their best light, write something that can be inspiring. This is quite different than looking for dirt and then airing it over and over till we all feel dirty and/or desensitized to it.

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger Janet said...

The news has become entertainment. It's no longer "news" as we knew it. The reporters must look good in front of the camera, and news is whatever sells. Out here we get non-stop updates on things like Britney Spears and her divorce!! I personally could care less!

 
At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Dave Daniels of Cabin Cove said...

I agree with you, too, on this. It was no-stop-nothing...I had to give up on the TV (a good thing) and turn to my spinning wheel for relaxation and entertainment. The whole sensationalism was for not, and a total waste of time and energy for all concerned. News IS news, WHEN it is newsworthy. But, to have crews ON AIR waiting for something to happen is just plain stupid.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging. back to you, Sara...

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger knitseashore said...

I agree with you that having the reporters stand around in case something might happen any minute now is a waste of everyone's time. It also interferes with the police doing their job because now they have reporters to protect in addition to the hostages, should the hostage taker go crazy.

Personally, I get my news on the internet, so I can pick and choose what stories to click on. TV news is just so bad here!!

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

My DH & I both agree with you. He simply agonizes over the weather being 'dramatized' or news people standing around waiting for something to happen like they did last week is mind numbing to say the least. Never mind the updates on the celebrities (famous for being famous) and their lives being thrushed at us like it's demandingly news-worthy. Sigh.

 

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