This "meta-reporting" caught my attention: "Field Reporting: Going, Going, Gone?" on veteran journalist David Marash's investigation of U.S. television news abandoning video reporting in favor of what he calls "News Whiz."

Instead of providing hard-hitting, investigative reporting from the field, with never-before-seen footage of breaking events, television news programs are now filling more and more airtime with chat. Gone is the newsreel. Gone are the exposés. Missing are the eyewitness accounts from journalists on the ground, replaced instead with grainy video snippets pulled from Twitter. 

If I want to see scattered amateur coverage with cellphone video, blogs, and tweets (as valuable an adjunct as those can be), I go to the internet directly, not TV. If I'm devoting my attention to the linear medium of TV (as opposed to reading and selecting stories at my own pace), I expect professionals genuinely gathering and reporting on news.

... networks are substituting arguing pundits, conversations among anchors and interviews with so-called “experts” ....

And Marash worries about the endless hours of angry feuding and bluster that now get prominent airtime in lieu of actual reporting.

“I think that television news, along with radio talk, has facilitated a culture of clash and conflict rather than civility and reason,” Marash said.... “We’ve modeled shouting at one another. We don’t model talking reasonably together.”

Could this also be eroding critical thinking, by presenting fewer facts and more loud, assertive, emotional food for confirmation bias, with pundits reinforcing what people already believe?


(Thanks to Bryan Frank for the original photo of reporter Tim Kimball.)



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Replies to This Discussion

If this brand of reporting is going on at CBS News, I am not certain I see it, and for that matter, I doubt Scott Pelley would tolerate it.  Personally, I think the CBS Evening News has at least reasonable if not very good field reporting, and Pelley's questions from the anchor chair have pulled some good points out of the stories covered.

Interesting point: my daughter is a producer at a station in North Carolina.  Methinks I will forward the above-mentioned story and get her reaction ... so like they used to say on the boob tube, "Stay tuned!"

I have noticed on the news channels that they respond to emails and Facebook posts now on air. Tweets are also becoming very popular.


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