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Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

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Old 02-21-2007, 12:37 PM   #1
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Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

Is it just me, or does it seem like good reporters are a dying or extinct breed? I'm not talking about reporters seeming too "liberal" or too "conservative," or being "overly critical of President Bush" or "unwilling to ask President Bush tough questions." I'm talking about news reporters becoming too editorial, narcissistic (i.e., the news is now about them and not "the news"), and interested in the totally irrelevant (e.g., the Anna Nicole Smith saga).

With regard to my claim that reporters are too editorial, it seems like people like Lou Dobbs are becoming partisan talking heads who no longer "report" but rather "dictate" the news. A lot of reporters seem to have devolved into overly simplistic, partisans who are unwilling to listen to "the other side" or simply shout over them.

With regard to my claim that reporters are becoming narcissistic, I keep seeing reporters turn the news into segments about themselves. Bill O'Reilly has a show called "the O'Reilly Factor" and spends an inordinate amount of time reading emails about no other than himself. "AC 360" seems to be more concerned about AC's hairstyle and making AC look cool than reporting the news. Lou Dobbs writes articles about himself and calls certain Democrats "Lou Dobbs Democrats." See this article for an example. Guys like Lou Dobbs are trying to create a personal following based not on the quality of their reporting, but rather based on their personal politics. I find a lot of those editorial shows very simplistic (as obnoxious as that sounds), destructive or decent dialogue, and simply dumb.

Finally, with regard to my claim that reporters are interested in the totally irrelevant, it seems like every time I want to learn more about Iraq, Washington politics, etc., I turn on the news to find them covering an exposed breast, Anna Nicole Smith, or Britner's bald head. Is this what is important to society? I know a lot of people claim the news simply gives the people what they want and the subjects covered by the news is dictated by the public, I disagree. I think the news is forcing so much crap down our throats that we now expect crap on the news. Moreover, there are plenty of outlets for crap (e.g., People Magazine), we need outlets for real news.

That's my stupid rant of the day.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:48 PM   #2
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

It's all about ratings and advertising dollars, and unfortunately the public stands for it because they watch it. Reporters these days are in the business of exciting people and creating controversies much like Jerry Springer. They are sales people selling you a product and have no obligation to tell the truth or report news worthy information.

About the only news shows I can stand to watch and enjoy are 60 Minutes, The McLaughlin Group, Washington Week in Review, NewsHour, and the Daily Show (yes, it's actually a news show).

I guess I am getting old eh?
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:57 PM   #3
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

I stopped watching and reading news about 1 year ago, and I must say that I feel much better for doing so. It's comforting to hear people complain about the excessive coverage about Anna Nicole Smith (and other irrelevant topics), and know that I haven't been exposed to any of it.

That said, I can't comment much about the current state of reporting. However, I definitely think that "ratings" are the primary focus of any news agency -- not good reporting.

The trend away from good reporting is nothing new, however:
"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
--Thomas Jefferson

BTW, did you know that you created two threads about this?
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:58 PM   #4
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

I don't have a problem with people like O'reilly who are up front with who and what they are as a reporter. Its the ones who hide behind their trade as a reporter and report with a bias. NPR is one that comes to mind and they always say how none bias they are but all of their reporting is about as biase as it gets.What is news now days is a sign of the times and it must be what people want to see. I'm not sure of the shows name but from 7pm to 8pm its nothing but gossip type news reporting and they get very high ratings. The reason the Anna story has stayed in the news is because of how its gone to trial and you have people fighting of who's the real dad and fighting to decide where she sould be buried.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:04 PM   #5
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

Anna Nicole Smith is a classic case of MWWS though she isn't missing.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:04 PM   #6
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhettoDogAllStars View Post
BTW, did you know that you created two threads about this?
Sorry about that, my computer froze and I hit the "create thread" button twice. Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:06 PM   #7
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

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About the only news shows I can stand to watch and enjoy are 60 Minutes, The McLaughlin Group, Washington Week in Review, NewsHour, and the Daily Show (yes, it's actually a news show).
Wow! Those are all the only news shows I watch too.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:13 PM   #8
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

we have such a short attention span here that its unreal... I'll follow a story fr a short while and it will disappear...

anyone know what happened to the girl in aruba? or how about rumsfeld saying that plane in PA was actually shot down???

we are obsessed with celebrities in this country... its amazing... everytime soemone farts everyone talks about it all week...
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:15 PM   #9
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

I watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, that's about all the news I can take.

I agree this Anna Nicole stuff is way, way out of control.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:24 PM   #10
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

somewhere along the line the reporter started becoming the story. the more the sensational the story, the more recognized the reporter became. everyone tweaks the news to spin it one way or another, why? i don't know about you guys, but i could give a rats ass where A.N. Smith is buried, or what the hell Brittany does with her hair
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:49 PM   #11
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

Reporters don't report, they create drama. By the time the media spins the "news" the way they want it, it bears little resemblance to the truth. Like someone else said, I quit watching, and listening a couple of years ago. I pay some attention to CNN, and a couple of others, but even those are suspect.
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Old 02-21-2007, 03:17 PM   #12
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

The rise of the opinionated commentator is simply a market function of the internet age. There is less "reporting" because the traditional job of reporting has been, to a great extent, replaced by the internet and consumers now need assistance in processing the volume of information readily available to them.

Prior to the internet, there was a need for truly objective reporting b/c not everyone had access to information. Reporting was necessary to discover and learn actual facts. Not how the facts were applied or could be applicable but, instead, simply what they were. Some filter was used as reporters had to determine what "Facts" were relevant to the matter being reported (e.g. - in reporting on the outcome of a football game, is the attendance at the game relevant?). As such, we relied on others (reporters) to gather information and present it to us in a reasonbly objective manner so that we could then process it and reach our own conclusions from the facts presented. The best traditional reporters gave us complete, relevant and accurate facts.

Since the explosion of the internet, however, having others gather factual information for us is rarely neccessary. Rather, there is a flood of information, both raw factual information and original source information, available to anyone who knows how to perform basic searches. Further, even if you can't find the information directly, you can probably find someone who has it or has a "link" to it. Unlike the pre-internet days, there is no dearth of factual data. Instead, "facts" come from all directions fast and hard and it is easy to be overwhelmed (Anyone who has done any serious internet research on Global Warming and its causes can attest to this). Thus, instead of a need for facts, people have a need for processing the various facts presented .

Given the plethora of factual information available, the current need is for "commentators" to assist people by providing the expertise neccessary for determining what is relevant and discerning how the disparate, and sometimes contradictory, facts interrelate. By its nature, the processing of facts is a much more subjective function than the gathering of facts. Because of the sheer volume and diversity of factual information available, just about any position, point of view or conclusion can be supported. Again, the BEST commentators perform their function as objectively as possible and try not to be "outcome oriented" but rather see their function as providing their audience with the necessary tools to come to its own conclusions.

Rather than attempt to seek out balanced commentary, however, many individuals simply look for the commentator who provides the factual support and argumentative back up for their pre-existing belief. These individuals look for commentators who "make sense" of the competing factual information and provide the agumentative organization that, in turn, allows the individuals to logically - and factually - justify their previously held opinions. Thus, commentators who provide the "expertise" to support popularly held beliefs (or, in today's competive information market, widely held beliefs) will always find a market and turn a profit.

In any real analysis, facts and expertise are essential. The question should always be - despite my previously held beliefs - "What should I believe?" Unfortunately, and to the profit of the Maher's, Limbaugh's, Dobbs', etc. too many people ask "How can I support what I already believe?".
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:36 PM   #13
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

you gotta sell death and shock to get people to pay attention. real reporters exist, but they're not on tv.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:26 PM   #14
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
I watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, that's about all the news I can take.

I agree this Anna Nicole stuff is way, way out of control.

:cheeky-sm:smashfrea


I do agree that the Smith circus makes a sad statement about our society and media.

I heard on the radio news that they're trying to rush the case along because her body is decomposing faster than they expected and it may prevent a PUBLIC viewing.

A PUBLIC VIEWING???

Why would she deserve one? She's not a President or the Pope. She's not only unimportant, she's really someone our society is better WITHOUT as cruel as that may sound.
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:28 PM   #15
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Re: Are Good Reporters a Dying, or Extinct Breed?

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I heard on the radio news that they're trying to rush the case along because her body is decomposing faster than they expected and it may prevent a PUBLIC viewing.

A PUBLIC VIEWING???
I think they mean that she will not be able to have an open casket, not a state funeral.
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