There’s no denying the moments that make us cringe when we watch TV news. Between the vapid punditry about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to the unhealthy obsession with Jon and Kate’s relationship, it can be difficult to feel good about what is on the screen.
It turns out that what’s happening behind the cameras is equally cringe-inducing. According to a recent RTNDA/Hofstra study, the diversity of the news work force at our local television and radio stations has slipped.
On Friday, Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) marched across Independence Avenue and up the steps of the Capitol Building to introduce a bill that could stand as the First Amendment of the Internet age.
The Federal Communications Commission's plan to investigate the blocking of Google Voice over the iPhone signals the agency's new resolve to address public concerns about carrier control over an exploding mobile phone marketplace.
Once and for all, a bill to make Net Neutrality the law made its way to Congress on Friday afternoon when Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 3458).
In a passionate speech in Colorado on Tuesday night, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather called on President Obama to form a White House commission on journalism and public media.
Citing declining investment in investigative journalism and the loss of news outlets that regularly monitor institutions of power, Rather said that all citizens should be concerned about the crisis in journalism. "A democracy and free people cannot thrive without a fiercely independent press," he said.
The recent Washington Post debacle of attempting to sell access to political elites via "salons" at the home of the paper's publisher offers a startling glimpse at how low commercial media have stooped. Yet we shouldn't be surprised. This is what happens when commercial news organizations are desperate for increasingly elusive profits. Such machinations will likely only get worse.
Have you heard? The economic crisis is solved. The health care reform bill passed and everyone is satisfied with it. There is no more violent crime anywhere. All the wars in the world have stopped, and our politicians are finally acting in our best interest. Everyone everywhere is happy; there is no news left to report. Or at least I assume that’s why news stations are airing advertisements disguised as news segments instead of real news.
The problem has nothing to do with slow news nights. Broadcasters are regularly accepting promotional segments designed to look like real news reports and airing them without identifying their source or sponsors in real news broadcasts.