Uncovered: Why TV News Lacks Credibility Today

  

From the Grand Rants “Tongue-In-Cheek” (TIC) News-wire:

As we stumble our way towards the finish line of another week, I keep asking myself why the quality of Television News has deteriorated to the level it has. All objectivity seems to have disappeared. Where we once had a Walter Cronkite, aka “the most trusted man in America,” we now have a Keith Olbermann who, on his best days, sounds like a bad Martin Mull impersonator.  Edward R.Murrow has been replaced by Chris Matthews.  It’s like replacing a Cadillac Escalade with a Checker Marathon Taxi.

Today, it appears that journalistic integrity has been replaced by sensationalism, political agendas at the publisher’s level, and anchors who see themselves as the most important part of each story.

The other day, I wondered if ANY of today’s news anchors have the same level of commitment towards journalistic integrity as did the greats of old.. I think I’ve found my answer:

 Gerry Ashley

6 Responses to Uncovered: Why TV News Lacks Credibility Today

  1. Davis says:

    The most respected TV newsman today? Jon Stewart

  2. Gerry says:

    Sorry, but I have to strongly disagree with your entire premise. There’s a huge difference between “most RESPECTED TV newsman” and “most POPULAR TV host.”

    That said, I should point out that Jon Stewart is not a newsman. He is a performer. A true newsman is a journalist first, not merely someone with a writing staff who looks for the punch-line in each story.

    From the entry for “The Daily Show” in Wikipedia:
    “Describing itself as a fake news program, The Daily Show draws its comedy from recent news stories, satirizing political figures, media organizations, and often, aspects of the show itself. The show typically opens with a monologue from the host relating to recent headlines and frequently features exchanges with one or more of several correspondents, who adopt absurd or humorously exaggerated takes on current events against Stewart’s straight man persona. The final act is reserved for a celebrity interview, with guests ranging from actors and musicians to nonfiction authors and political figures.

    The program has grown in popularity since Jon Stewart took over hosting, with organizations such as the Pew Research Center claiming that it has become a primary source of news for many young people, an assertion the show’s staff have repeatedly rejected.

    Critics, including series co-creator Lizz Winstead, have chastised Stewart for not conducting hard-hitting enough interviews with his political guests, some of whom he may have previously lampooned in other segments; while others have criticized the show as having a liberal bias.

    Stewart and other Daily Show writers have responded to both criticisms by saying that they do not have any journalistic responsibility and that as comedians their only duty is to provide entertainment.”

    By his own admission, he’s just a comedian. The problem, as I see it, is when people in the general public can’t tell the difference between genuine journalism/news coverage and satire. When that happens, all too often those who “admire” or “respect” the satirist have a skewed reference to reality regarding current events, choosing rather to cling to a comedic premise rather than bothering with actual facts. Based on Stewart’s own comment above, he appears to be of the same opinion regarding this.

  3. Chuck says:

    News, TV or otherwise, is about attracting the most viewers and then selling advertising time for the most dollars. Whatever story or person that will do that will be passed off as news or as a news person. News based in integrity and for the sake of honestly informing the public left the building many, many years ago. The worst part is that the public does not care, it wishes to be entertained by the news, not informed by it.

  4. Gerry says:

    You raise an interesting point. Don Henley (of “The Eagles” fame) summed it up best more than 20 years ago with his song, “Dirty Laundry.”

    There used to be a distinction, however, between the entertainment programming and the network news. All that changed years ago as the networks dumbed-down the news to reach the broadest audience possible in an attempt to serve the “lowest common denominator” in the interest of higher news ratings and, therefore, more revenue through higher advertising rates.

    If that were not the case, I doubt you’d find the likes of Chris Matthews or Keith Olberman employed as newsmen. Or Dan Rather. Or Katie Couric. Or (fill in just about any network news “performer”).

    But their popularity alone doesn’t bring any credibility to their work. That’s why there’s such a vast number of people who desire the straight facts, not news that’s been pre-interpreted for us. And that’s why there’s such a large market for news blogs. That’s not to suggest there aren’t any news blogs with a pre-ordained agenda, but the point is, there is pressure for us NOT to be honest. We don’t need to subject ourselves to agendas or political correctness. For those blogs that ARE disingenuous, their agendas are transparent and quickly exposed.

  5. BPG says:

    Alan,

    WTF was that?!? J-school’s finest?

  6. […] Uncovered: Why TV News Lacks Credibility Today « Grand Rants […]

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