Thursday, December 28, 2006

Power of the Press


I have always been amazed at the reasons things make the news. For example, a press conference simple to tell reporters, "I don't have anything to tell you, so stop askiing". Um, why in the world didn't you issue No Comment to the phone calls?

What is truly mindboggling is when a show is interrupted for "Breaking News'. First of all, if it's been the same story discussed at length the last hour, BREAKING is the wrong title. Save it for when the story first breaks. Here, Oprah is on the hour right before local news (4pm is a newscast, but not the same channel). More than once, the last fifteen minutes have been pre-empted for a 'Special Report'. Folks, news stations have two ways to fix this. One is split screen, so I can SEE Oprah. Second is the 'crawl', the ticker-tape which slowly shoots across the bottom of the screen. 24 Hour cable news channels know this last trick well. The next stopping point is perfect to talk about something which happened. Especially if what is on schedule is a repeat, no matter whether it's Survivor or Larry King Live.
Which reminds me - when one story dominates the broadcast or is the WHOLE story, others get missed. USA Today online didn't bother putting up President Ford's death when it happened, but the next day, when presumably people were around to put up stories, polar bears topped the list! Sadaam Hussein's letter resigning himself to hanging (or that last item as well) was ignored too. Oops!

No comments: