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Bring back the good ‘ole news

Uploaded by kathylambchop on Nov 07, 2002

The Sydney Morning Herald 31st August 2002

Bring back the good ‘ole news
By Katherine Lam

It’s 5pm, the kids want their dinner, the boss is on my back about the report due yesterday and the car has broken down. Come on, let’s face it, the last thing we want to watch is some boring negotiation between two politicians. Never fear! The commercial stations recognise the audience’s panic and has found the cure! They have metamorphisized their prime time news programmes into entertainment soap boxes. But what happened to good ‘ole quality news? With stories like “The bold and beautiful trend is born” and “Stairs ate my pants” it’s difficult to believe that the primary role of news is to expand our horizons with fair-minded analysis and interpretation of current events. It has become such a battle for ratings amongst the stations that news has finally ceded its role to the back seat. Likewise the newspaper industry is also using infotainment as a lure for readers. But why? Oh remember children, the more entertainment generated by sensationalising news events and their peripherals, the higher the ratings; higher ratings attract more advertisements! Aha! Big Bucks! Profits!

Admit it, we’re greedy! Although not the main focus of the media, the money-making formula is undeniably, an attractive option to many stations thus watch the IMPORTANT news fly out of the window! Channel Ten’s First at Five news runs for a full hour rather than half an hour like many news programs. However, DO NOT be fooled! An extended program is still highly prone to “quantity not quality.” On 29 August 2002, its leading story was about angry Brisbane residents revolting against Peter Bettie’s $500 000 dollar trip to Townsville. I guess Channel Nine did a bit better than reporting its usual “cat-up-tree” incident as a top story. Instead, it was replaced by a ninety second report about entangling a whale. Have we been engulfed by this hype for so long that we have forgotten about “hard” news? Likewise turning to the newspaper for half decent information is also becoming a rare find. Technology has brought it a new enemy- the Internet. Just a click away, it can offer sounds and visuals to bring the “reality” of their stories to viewers. So how can newspapers maintain sales? Tabloids like The Sydney Sider have turned to “soft” news and “sporty” pictures. The Bulldogs salary cap scandal was a whopper....

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Uploaded by:   kathylambchop

Date:   11/07/2002

Category:   Television

Length:   4 pages (842 words)

Views:   2406

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