Drama, drama, drama.

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In the essay segment "TV stations are completely ratings driven-- and driven by consultants" written by Greg Byron, he states: "Crime is big--crime against the innocent even bigger.  If there's a sexual angle, it will be true as explicitly as the TV people dare to say it, pretending their disgust on each successive newscast.  And since people are fascinated with fire, photographers shoot lots of fires and news producers would run all they could get at the top of the show.  They'd throw out the day's stories and throw their whole staff at a big fire for 'team coverage' of any fire which still had big flames when the news crews got to the scene.  That it might be an abandoned old warehouse doesn't matter.  Viewers are drawn to spectacle and that makes yellow flames the lead story."

I found this to be very true in the local news I watched a few nights ago (and also wrote about in my previous blog entry).  The covered stories about runaway hitchhiking children, suicide, a girl who was beaten with a hammer by her boyfriend several years ago, and surprisingly enough they covered a fire.  For people who watch the news regularly, they must think the world is going down the toilet since only bad things ever happen on the news.  But if the news only covered fact, bad as well as good, would as many people watch it?  Probably not.  It wouldn't be as interesting to hear real stories and about how many people were not killed.  Maybe the drama of the news keeps people interested, like the drama in soap operas-- they have become regular viewers.  

1 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

You're right Kaitlin, less people would probably watch the news if it focuses so much on the normal everyday things. In many ways, I can't play TV news for doing what they are doing. Less people would watch the news if it covered every single plane that made it to its destination. I think as long as people realize that the news only covers these exceptions to the rule, there shouldn't be a problem. The difficulty comes when news stations try to portray this one-time events as a rule, this scares their viewers and bends the truth.

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    Greta Carroll on Drama, drama, drama.: You're right Kaitlin, less peo
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