Broadcasting didn't kill Newspapers

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First of all, let me just say that I loved John Campbell's A Famous Person Has Died. Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business. I think a lot can be said about this comic. It is very unfortunate that so much of it is true. Too often the viewers at home find themselves listening to the latest news on the new death of some famous guy who's name we'll probably forget in the next decade.

Although I know brevity is kind of important with comic strips, Campbell could have taken this even further simply by including an "hours later" or even "days later" box to his strip. How long did the media include Michael Jackson in their nightly news? Wait, aren't they still talking about his death and his trust funds and all that other mumbo-jumbo?

Campbell make's a great argument here nonetheless. I can honestly say that I do not remember the last time I watched the evening news on my own. Sure, my parents always have CNN and MSNBC blasting in our living room, but I rarely pay attention. Some journalist I'm turning out to be, huh? But honestly, I've never really liked broadcast journalism. Okay, I'm done rambling for now, let me get back to my point: everytime I watch the news it seems like they spend more time leading up to a story than they do actually telling a story. This comic is a great representation of that fact too--the reporters often waste time repeating the same information, only with different wording in order to keep the listeners attention long enough for some breaking news.

I guess the bottom line is, not all breaking news holds the attention of the audience like newscasters might hope. It really does make me appreciate print journalism more, though. Because broadcast journalism is so up-to-the-minute specific, they have to bring in "experts" who no one has ever heard of or cares to learn about. Newspapers, on the other hand, have the opportunity to actually credit their sources and thus, in my opinion, newspaper articles sound more intelligent.

For more insights, see our comments on the comic.


Greta Carroll said:

I agree with you completely Jessie, I found the comic humorous as well. I can't remember the last time I chose to watch the evening news either. The only time I do is if I'm at the gym and someone else has it on near me and I'm forced to. When it comes to television you have no chose as to what you are exposed to. If they want to talk about Michael Jackson constantly and you watch it, then you are forced to listen to it. If it's in print in a newspaper or on the Internet, it's one's choice which articles they read, skim, or completely skip over. It allows you to spend your time on the things you are interested and which you deem important.

Jennifer Prex said:

I agree that this comic sums up more than just news coverage of a famous person who has just died. I've also noticed that on the rare occasion I've watched the news. Sometimes they advertise that a story is coming up next from the very beginning of the program, but it doesn't actually air until the end of the program. So much time is spent hyping it up, but the story it self really isn't all that long; there isn't much for the newscasters to say on the matter, despite what the long lead in may suggest. I guess the main difference is, though, that at least with other news stories, the newscasters don't waste time trying to find news to say; they just say whatever information they do have on the matter and leave it at that.

Jessie Krehlik said:

I know exactly what you mean, Jennifer, about them leading up to a story all episode just to show the story for less than five minutes at the close of the news reel. It's really rather annoying...
And I like what you said about them not wasting time with filler information. I guess that just comes with having such a limited time to produce the information.

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