Friday, January 11, 2008

The timidity of TV

TV "news" isn't liberal or conservative, it's stupid. John Hockenberry tells all in Technology Review:

In the spring of 2005, after working in television news for 12 years, I was jettisoned from NBC News in one of the company's downsizings. The work that I and others at Dateline NBC had done--to explore how the Internet might create new opportunities for storytelling, new audiences, and exciting new mechanisms for the creation of journalism--had come to naught. After years of timid experiments, NBC News tacitly declared that it wasn't interested. The culmination of Dateline's Internet journalism strategy was the highly rated pile of programming debris called To Catch a Predator. The TCAP formula is to post offers of sex with minors on the Internet and see whether anybody responds. Dateline's notion of New Media was the technological equivalent of etching "For a good time call Sally" on a men's room stall and waiting with cameras to see if anybody copied down the number.
Read the whole thing if your stomach is strong.

1 comment:

Paul Botts said...

Yea. The good news is that Americans, particulary younger ones, have been steadily giving up on TV news for a couple generations now. The percentage of all U.S. households watching the network evening news has declined by more than half since 1980; the share that watches the morning news has declined more gradually; newsmagazines like "48 Hours" have declined in viewership for about a decade now; the actual shares drawn by CNN, MSNBC and Fox News remain minor (far smaller than the dwindled audiences for the national network news).