The Race to Humiliate

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Because TV news races to get to the information first, trying to beat out blogs/rumors/papers, I find they sacrafice their content. The Onion's spoof reflects how this can happen. The "station" didn't even send someone who could even interpret Creole or French or a camera. In the best clip they got, nothing could be understood. You think they would have a guy who knew how to use his camera phone and set it for longer than a 10 sec clip.

The anchor also tried to make news out of something she knew nothing about. How can she possibly know its the biggest news out of Haiti when she can't even confirm what's happening. Is it positive/negative? Can anyone be interviewed?

Sadly, this happens in real news sometimes in the race to get on air first.

3 Comments

Angela Palumbo said:

Honestly, I think after reading all of this stuff about TV news and actually noticing these tactics for myself I would rather watch garbage TV like Parental Control. They are both bad and filled with superficial people. They also both have scripts.

You know what really gets me though? When the news talks would talk about how people got through airport security or something like that. They would go over ever single tactic some guy used to smuggle a nail file on the plane. By reporting on such a story they alert any would-be attacker exactly what weaknesses the security has. It's insane! You help the criminal when you do things like that!

Aja Hannah said:

Yea, I guess it's a Catch 22 though. You want to inform the public, but you're giving away information to potentially bad people. Maybe the reporters figure that the more people aware and looking for these thing, the less likely someone is going to do it.

I mean, the same thing can be argued for shows like Cold Case or CSI.

I like watching shows like The Soup or Daily 10 because it makes fun of news shows, celebrities, and reality shows. Like the coverage during Jackson's death or reporters being unprepared.

I think it can always be a difficult decision on what news to air and when to air it. Sometimes breaking news can be important and inform people of a major emergency, and sometimes it can be a dud, like the thing happening in Haiti. This really makes me wonder how to decide when something is important enough to be breaking news and at what point does it become clear it's that important. Who knows? The Haiti thing might have turned into something people with loved ones in Haiti might be very concerned about and want to get up-to-the-minute information on. Like the shooting at the LA Fitness gym; that's something people in the area would have been concerned about, and though there wasn't a whole lot of information in the beginning the news stations felt it was important to break the news anyhow. But perhaps sometimes breaking news can throw people into an unnecessary panic. Anyway, I think there are just a whole of tough ethical decisions that always come into play when a potentially breaking-news-worthy situation occurs, though I don't think reporters always genuinely consider them.

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