Friday, March 30, 2007

Eat your broccoli!

The audience may not want to be fed healthy greens, but journalists have the responsibility of informing the public on news that they may not want—such as international news that might not have a direct impact on Americans.

Higher-ups at a news station should also focus on delivering good journalism; that means investing money on foreign correspondents to do first-hand reporting. Many newsrooms like the L.A. Times are embracing “hyper- localism,” and more media outlets such as The Boston Globe have closed down many of its bureaus abroad.

It’s probably safe to say that most journalists get into the business— clearly not for the money or long lunch breaks— to eliminate some of the ignorance around the world and shape informed people.

But in order to make any kind of impact is to get people to actually consume the news. It’s discouraging to hear that people just aren’t interested in knowing what’s going on in the world.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism released the State of the News Media 2007 earlier this month. According to the report, the total evening network news audience now stands at around 26 million, down about a million from the year before. It has dropped by about 1 million a year for the last 25 years.

Take a look at evening news viewership:




Moreover newspapers, cable television, network news and local television are all losing its audience. And it’s definitely not reassuring when studies show that internet is not a medium that’s continually skyrocketing. Growth in audience and money in certain sectors of online news is actually slowing.
A Pew Research Center report included in the State of the News Media 2007 said the audience for online news is shrinking:

Between June 2005 and June 2006, the percentage of people who said they go online for news every day dropped from 34 to 27 percent. Growth in online advertising has also cooled, slipping below 30 percent for the first time in a decade.

So while there is an argument for the journalistic duty of delivering substantial news to people, it’ll be a nightly struggle to get Americans to pay attention to any news, let alone getting them to eat the veggies.

JA

2 Comments:

At Saturday, March 31, 2007, Blogger GN said...

I like the analogy to food. As mentioned in class, I think the media needs to find better ways to cook the broccoli and make it appealing instead of giving the people junk food most of the time. Wasn't there also some kind of study which found that over the long run, people appreciate "real" news and stay with the station that provides them with great information?
The media needs to learn how to make broccoli souffle and other enticing dishes that are also good for you.

 
At Saturday, March 31, 2007, Blogger L.C. said...

I think that television news is plummeting because--in trying to adapt to the times--it's moving away from the niche of smart news reporting. Television needs to start thinking about what it has to offer that the Internet doesn't have--in my opinion this means steering away from zippy, mile-a-minute news whirlwinds and taking the time to cover a story in depth and capture the viewer without as much interuption. It frustrates me to no end that t.v. stations think I won't take the time to sit and watch something. I definitely will--you just need to offer me something I can't find in a few clicks of the mouse.

 

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