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Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
A New Look at the News
October 31, 2019  | By Tom Brinkmoeller  | 21 comments
 


It has been a long time since I watched a television news program. In my opinion, these dwindling dinosaurs are on the same path to extinction as watches you have to wind, Sears stores, and places where you pay to watch movies while eating food for which you also have to pay.

How soon these anachronisms will jump into the tar pits in which newspapers now soak and sink isn't predictable. Just inevitable.

Returning to the first sentence of this low-power rant, however, let me — a person who once earned a good portion of his not-so-good salary watching, absorbing and critiquing local and national newscasts — explain.

Newscasts take their hopelessly passive viewers hostage, put them on a train, strap them into a seat, and determine what they "see out the window" and how long they can look.

Whether it's a half-hour network production or a local station's hours-long broadcast designed to package commercials purchased by 95% percent of the country's car dealers, a viewer either has the choice of remaining a viewer in hopes of learning something really relevant or turning off and declaring independence. Are you interested in the school board scandal that is unfolding on the other side of the station's broadcast area? The arrest that took place four counties away? Or the cute story about the fellow who made a memorial statue to Euell Gibbons out of pinecones?

Yes or no, it's an all-or-nothing menu set in front of you. You want some wheat? There’s no à la carte. The chaff is put on a plate in front of you, too.

Same thing, on a slightly higher level, applies to national news programs: You either keep watching through it all or do more independent things with your half-hour.

Twenty years ago, this wasn't the case. What was the meteor that crashed to the ground and caused this extinction-in-process? The internet, of course — the same flaming rock that is eliminating department stores and shopping malls, dictionaries and encyclopedias, face-to-face conversations, and much of the U.S. Postal Service.

It has become the key that unlocks me from captive watching. I go to the local stations' sites and to the ones the national news giants run when I choose to. I see a headline that means something to me? I read the story. All or part of it; it's up to me. And I have the luxury of ignoring whatever I want to skip. And I can do this any time of the day I want because — to varying degrees — these sites are updated regularly. Often, the story appears on the site long before airtime.

Reading more often is preferable to watching a piece that has to supply a visual backdrop, whether it adds to the story or not. So the Web wins here, too.

Equally good is the fact that the "commercials" are either easily-closed pop-ups or easily-ignored ads placed around the news, weather, and sports. As a business model, this alternative has lots of holes. But even if I held stock in one of these television news enterprises, I wouldn't care because I'm no longer strapped in a seat on someone else's train being subjected to a formula. (And I'd have sold that stock a couple of years ago.)

It's so natural a situation that I'm betting Euell Gibbons would have eaten it up.

 
 
 
 
 
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21 Comments
 
 
daniel
Agreed! Television news programs seem increasingly outdated in today's digital age. Just like winding watches, Sears stores, and dine-in movie theaters, their relevance is fading fast.

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Apr 17, 2024
 
 
 
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I liked this new look of these news and I think this one of the best look I have ever seen in a while.
Apr 2, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
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Feb 18, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
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Feb 18, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
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Feb 18, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
In the evolution of media consumption, traditional TV news programs seem on a path to extinction, akin to winding watches, Sears stores, and dine-in movie theaters. The nostalgia of bygone practices highlights the dynamic shifts in how we engage with information and entertainment, marking a transformative era in media trends.
Feb 2, 2024   |  Reply
 
You a most correct with your response. I agree completely.
Feb 17, 2024
 
 
 
The digital revolution has ushered in a new era for news consumption. Online platforms and social media act as catalysts, altering the speed and manner in which we receive information. Exploring these technological advancements unveils a future where news experiences transcend traditional boundaries.
Jan 1, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Hamid Raza
The digital revolution has ushered in a new era for news consumption. Online platforms and social media act as catalysts, altering the speed and manner in which we receive information. Exploring these technological advancements unveils a future where news experiences transcend traditional boundaries.
Jan 1, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
The sentiment reflects a changing media landscape and evolving consumer preferences. Traditional television news faces challenges in the digital age. The analogy to other fading entities highlights the shift in societal norms and technological advancements, signaling the transformative nature of how we consume information and entertainment.
Dec 24, 2023   |  Reply
 
 
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Which is some inspirational stuff.
Never knew that opinions might be this varied.
Thank you for all the enthusiasm to provide such helpful information here.

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Noel Holston
Love the column, Tom, especially the wonderful paragraph about the meteor that is causing all the extinctions.
Nov 2, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Zeke
The shame in "appointment viewing" newscasts is that the service they could do, keeping local governments in line is blocked out by "If it bleeds it leads" --
plus endless pharma ads. The other death knell is getting agreement on what is "truth" -- Walter once had a Nation's trust. No one has now.
Newspapers are my current solution.Even so,I wonder what I am missing.
Oct 31, 2019   |  Reply
 
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