OOOOOO Bright shiny thing!!!

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It is very unfortunate that there are actual, legitimate news stations out in our world who actually report news just like the Onion Broadcast Spoof. Stuff like this joke really make one question the liability of current news stations. After watching this short clip, I couldn't help but think back to last night's 11 o' clock news, with its breaking news about a car accident. Wendy Bell said something along the lines of "We're told that two were injured and rushed to the hospital." While it's good to give the public information on the current events, perhaps this was one incident when it would have been better to keep the details to a minimum. Pretty soon, she would have probably ended up guessing what caused the accident (cars) or something stupid like that. I know that the Onion Spoof was an extreme parody of real news, but I still think it proves a good point. News anchors are so determined to keep their viewers tuned in that they'll make any situation sound far more perilous and interesting than it really is. It's almost like...OOOO BRIGHT SHINY THING!!! Wait, where was I? Oh, haha, it's almost like they get distracted too easily. And, let's face it, sometimes the reporters out on the field really have nothing to go on either, like the reporter at CMU who showed the clip of the "eyewitness who saw that the stairwell was roped off..." Isn't there any way that Broadcast news can become more reliable? How do they feel accomplished with feeding such bogus stories to their viewers? The world may never know...


Angela Palumbo said:

Well if the TV news does do anything well (if, of course, they are really good reporters) it is to distract the viewer from the lack of actual news that there really is. You can turn a twenty second story about a puppy getting lost in Tokyo, wandering on a plane to Sydney, and miraculously finding her owners into a several minute spread. The reporters would interview the guy who was supposed to be watching the plane that the dog wondered onto, give details about the breed of dog and its mental capabilities and so forth on a slow news day. Although that stuff may be interesting to know, the viewer will forget it in 1 minute, therefore, it isn't really a necessity or really newsworthy.

It seems to me that broadcast news is a pretty hard job that's even more complicated by commercial concerns. It's a job that requires people to look for newsworthy stories every day, even when there may not be much happening, and to condense all the day's news into a sharp-looking hour or half-hour-long newscast. Add to that the pressure of making the news appealing to potential viewers and to not step on the toes of any of the advertisers, and it seems almost impossible to turn in really good news reports with integrity and honesty. It seems like so often there would be situations in which a lot of details aren't known, so the reporter has to fly by the seat of their pants like the woman in the Onion spoof. It would be challenging to sift through the complexity of a recent event and present it in a way that's understandable. Perhaps this kind of reporting might be more reliable if reporters more often admitted that they don't have all the facts and are piecing them together as time goes on, instead of presenting everything they say as definitive, fully put together stories.

Jennifer Prex said:

Even though the news stations are so intent on getting the news to people fast, they would be much better off if they took the time to get all of their facts straight first. I think that's probably the biggest problem. They're in such a rush to get the story on the air that the details get lost.

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