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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 1:58 pm 
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I don't watch MSNBC or FOX because I don't really want to watch a desk personality use the cover of 'news' to advance an agenda, whether it is one I agree with or not. I do watch CNN occasionally but am generally quick to turn the channel when it becomes a thing of people talking over each other. I'd rather watch sports people shout at each other, they often come across as more aware and informed than people who shout about politics. Probably because they have no political agenda to drive, so they can just be passionate and opinionated without being completely awful (except a few, like SAS and Bayless.)

There's a bit of silver lining in the cloud of the Trump presidency. Newspaper subscriptions are up. The NY Times got 41,000 new subscribers in the week after the election. From the day after the election through late November they were up 132,000 subscribers. Almost 10K/day. They sent an email blast to subscribers today announcing that they have expanded their Washington bureau, adding a new Washington Investigations team. One of their guys said that generally after an election there's a lull, not a surge, so this is a new phenomenon for them. Not bad for the "sad" and "failing" New York Times. The WSJ saw a 300% spike in new subscribers after the election. The WaPo hasn't released any figures that I've seen but a spokesperson said there has been a sizable increase. The LA Times reported a 60% bump in new subscribers in the 3 weeks after the election.

These are all great things. Those spikes in subscribers lead to spikes in advertising which lead to spikes in staffing. And having more reporters doing honest reporting is what we need right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 1:59 pm 
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MrCrowesGarden wrote:
I think some of it is tired criticism. I still believe TV is the best medium for breaking news. I guess Twitter and Facebook are better, but we try to emphasize those platforms where I work.

As far as local news covering crime over government, I think it's because TV is so heavily a visual medium, and a lot of government stories are boring (meeting) video. People stop watching. That's not to say we can't do better, but I think there's a lot of times where you'll hear "that sounds like a great newspaper story" in the newsroom. But, even if it's not our strong suit, it doesn't mean it should be ignored.

That may be the case, but from my perspective, there's very little breaking news that I feel I actually need to see breaking. Elections and natural disasters pretty much covers it for me. With almost anything, you learn much more with time and resources put into obtaining perspective. That can certainly be done on TV (e.g. PBS's consistently great Frontline), but this isn't the norm, to say the least.


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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 2:08 pm 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
That may be the case, but from my perspective, there's very little breaking news that I feel I actually need to see breaking.


Agreed, and this is why you don't see the NYT and other legit print outlets ever 'breaking' news as it happens*. They wait until they can investigate, talk to people, verify sources, then they print the story when they're confident in what they have. If you were clicking 'refresh' on their page during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers you'd have seen nothing, because there was nothing verifiable to report. That was the province of the TV news, for whom there's a whole lot of money in keeping people from turning the channel as they report 'breaking' news by repeating the same stuff (basically: "this is happening, but we don't know exactly what") for hours on end. No offense, Crowes, just my perception of how CNN and other TV news covers these things, and I fair one I think.

*The stuff they 'break' is stuff like Trump losing a billion bucks in a year, investigating it for a looooooong time then publishing a big sweeping report.


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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 2:42 pm 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
MrCrowesGarden wrote:
I think some of it is tired criticism. I still believe TV is the best medium for breaking news. I guess Twitter and Facebook are better, but we try to emphasize those platforms where I work.

As far as local news covering crime over government, I think it's because TV is so heavily a visual medium, and a lot of government stories are boring (meeting) video. People stop watching. That's not to say we can't do better, but I think there's a lot of times where you'll hear "that sounds like a great newspaper story" in the newsroom. But, even if it's not our strong suit, it doesn't mean it should be ignored.

That may be the case, but from my perspective, there's very little breaking news that I feel I actually need to see breaking. Elections and natural disasters pretty much covers it for me. With almost anything, you learn much more with time and resources put into obtaining perspective. That can certainly be done on TV (e.g. PBS's consistently great Frontline), but this isn't the norm, to say the least.


I would like to see more follow through, but I'm not as okay if something major happens, like a bombing for example, and just ignoring it.


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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 2:45 pm 
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themiddle54 wrote:
Arthur Dent wrote:
That may be the case, but from my perspective, there's very little breaking news that I feel I actually need to see breaking.


Agreed, and this is why you don't see the NYT and other legit print outlets ever 'breaking' news as it happens*. They wait until they can investigate, talk to people, verify sources, then they print the story when they're confident in what they have. If you were clicking 'refresh' on their page during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers you'd have seen nothing, because there was nothing verifiable to report. That was the province of the TV news, for whom there's a whole lot of money in keeping people from turning the channel as they report 'breaking' news by repeating the same stuff (basically: "this is happening, but we don't know exactly what") for hours on end. No offense, Crowes, just my perception of how CNN and other TV news covers these things, and I fair one I think.

*The stuff they 'break' is stuff like Trump losing a billion bucks in a year, investigating it for a looooooong time then publishing a big sweeping report.


I think it's ironic you mention the Boston Marathon bombing because I believe WHDH in Boston ran circles around everyone on that. Yes, there should be more investigation afterward, I agree on that.

AFA Trump losing all that cash... I think the NYT did a terrific job with that. At the same time, it's a terrible TV story. People are more willing to read something for 10 or 15 minutes than they are to stay watching one story.

That's not to say your perception isn't fair... just I think mine is too.


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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 3:16 pm 
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Cable news would rather focus on tweets designed to distract rather than actual substance.


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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 3:37 pm 
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MrCrowesGarden wrote:
Arthur Dent wrote:
MrCrowesGarden wrote:
I think some of it is tired criticism. I still believe TV is the best medium for breaking news. I guess Twitter and Facebook are better, but we try to emphasize those platforms where I work.

As far as local news covering crime over government, I think it's because TV is so heavily a visual medium, and a lot of government stories are boring (meeting) video. People stop watching. That's not to say we can't do better, but I think there's a lot of times where you'll hear "that sounds like a great newspaper story" in the newsroom. But, even if it's not our strong suit, it doesn't mean it should be ignored.

That may be the case, but from my perspective, there's very little breaking news that I feel I actually need to see breaking. Elections and natural disasters pretty much covers it for me. With almost anything, you learn much more with time and resources put into obtaining perspective. That can certainly be done on TV (e.g. PBS's consistently great Frontline), but this isn't the norm, to say the least.


I would like to see more follow through, but I'm not as okay if something major happens, like a bombing for example, and just ignoring it.

You can add bombings to the list. But this isn't exactly exactly what cable news is doing with the bulk of its airtime.

And I'm not really talking about local TV news here; that's a different beast. I would say I am mostly disinterested just out of personal preference (don't like the ultra short form or the fact that it's a push format where I must sit through a bunch of stuff I don't care about). Different strokes. I would say that the over the top sensationalism with something like 90% of promotions for local news here being some form of, "Threats! Tonight at 11." is actively bad.

Anyway, I don't want to beat up. Whatever you're doing to make local TV news better or more informative is surely good.


Last edited by Arthur Dent on January 19 17, 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 3:39 pm 
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My issue is less with the local affiliates (although I have severe gripes about them) and more about PROTESTS: DO THE PEOPLE PROTESTING DONALD TRUMP HAVE A POINT OR ARE THEY STUPID? WE BRING ON REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST FARTY MCPOOPFACE AND DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST SCROTY BOOGERPANTS TO DISCUSS.

As for the local affiliates, some good journalism is occasionally done, but I worked for one and in my experience, it's one step above a regular TV show. Very few of the people who are LIVE WITH THE BOMMARITO STREET FLEET are actually good reporters. Anchors are reading scripts they contributed nothing to. Fake laughter and jokes are written in. A complex issue that needs a solid five minutes of explanation is boiled down to 25 seconds and finished out with, "but opponents say they are wrong." Sometimes the best content is a video of a dog and a baby. I don't want to demean your work, Crowes, because for a time it was my work, too. But after spending a year in it, I found it be personally worthless. But that's just me and what I've seen in St. Louis.

Also, don't even get me started on SHOW ME A GREAT DAY, ST. LOUIS. Maybe my experience there will go in the "Rants."


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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 3:43 pm 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
MrCrowesGarden wrote:
Arthur Dent wrote:
MrCrowesGarden wrote:
I think some of it is tired criticism. I still believe TV is the best medium for breaking news. I guess Twitter and Facebook are better, but we try to emphasize those platforms where I work.

As far as local news covering crime over government, I think it's because TV is so heavily a visual medium, and a lot of government stories are boring (meeting) video. People stop watching. That's not to say we can't do better, but I think there's a lot of times where you'll hear "that sounds like a great newspaper story" in the newsroom. But, even if it's not our strong suit, it doesn't mean it should be ignored.

That may be the case, but from my perspective, there's very little breaking news that I feel I actually need to see breaking. Elections and natural disasters pretty much covers it for me. With almost anything, you learn much more with time and resources put into obtaining perspective. That can certainly be done on TV (e.g. PBS's consistently great Frontline), but this isn't the norm, to say the least.


I would like to see more follow through, but I'm not as okay if something major happens, like a bombing for example, and just ignoring it.

You can add bombings to the list. But this isn't exactly exactly what cable news is doing with the bulk of its airtime.

And I'm not really talking about local TV news here; that's a different beast. I would say I am mostly disinterested just out of personal preference (don't like the ultra short form or the fact that it's a push format where I must sit through a bunch of stuff I don't care about). Different strokes. I would say that the over the top sensationalism with something like 90% of promotions for local news here being some form of, "Threats! Tonight at 11." is actively bad.

Anyway, I don't want to beat up. Whatever you're doing to make local TV news better or more informative is surely good.


I think you have fair points, and they are different animals. Especially about promotions-- I feel the station where I work now is good about selling the story but still being honest about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Media bias?
PostPosted: January 19 17, 10:53 pm 
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All sources of media have at least some bias, with some being obviously more extreme than others. It's fine to recognize those biases and adjust your filters accordingly. What's not fine is making the huge logical leap from "this source is biased" to "this source is not credible" simply because it doesn't agree with your worldview. It's a direct byproduct of cable news channels giving all of the airtime to professional opinion havers. People have lost all ability to distinguish between news and opinion, so now the default is that all media is opinion.


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