Friday, November 03, 2006

Stay Tuned to Find Out Who Else Got Shot Since Last Night!

I’m not quite sure whether or not executives at local Chicago news stations consciously decided to focus evening newscasts on who got shot or died in a car crash earlier that day, but many local news channels, like ABC7, have become broadcast obituaries. I really believe that Chicago is one of the finest in the cities in the world.

And if the students at Medill are able to find countless local news stories with substance week after week, why can’t people who are paid to do so accomplish the same thing?

Yes... blood, guts and gore sell - but the abundance of images on an ABC7 broadcast, (also available online) are of car crashes and name/age dropping of who got shot the night before. Each shooting and car crash story blends into the next to the point where a viewer is desensitized.

It appears as though almost no effort goes into these stories... grab some b-roll of a car crash, ask the first person you find on the street if they knew their neighbor would get shot, or if they’ve ever seen a car crash so horrific, and then do exactly the same thing the next night.

The anchors don’t seem particularly concerned with the subject matter, and it quickly appears as though someone is reading the names of people who were caught at the end of gun barrel, or the street names where a car crash occurred, from a teleprompter with absolutely no compassion or sincerity.

In fact, I don’t blame these anchors or reporters because if I had to re-report the same story every night, I would also appear equally distanced from the redundant subject matter.



At Sunday, November 05, 2006, Blogger Robert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Sunday, November 05, 2006, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

I believe we talked about this either in Issues or in Chicago Broadcast. Remeber the Carol Marin, "good news" experiement? I think that kind of thing fails because people like to turn on the news and see someone in a situation worse off than them. It makes them feel better about themselves and their personal situations-- to see someone was shot or killed in a bad neighborhood makes the viewer go, "Sheesh, what a crazy world we live in. I am so blessed to live in Streeterville .....etc...." It sounds pessimistic I know but there is some truth to it. People can be cruel......not to mention, if there is some burglar or rapist out there or murderer out there, people wanna be on the lookout and have their guard up.........things they really should be doing anyway.

At Sunday, November 05, 2006, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

Oops. Forgot to include my ES at the above comment.


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