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Why the media passes off bunk as news

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 03:35 PM
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Why the media passes off bunk as news

Why the media passes off bunk as news
The 24-hour news cycle is partially at fault, but the frantic quest for ratings reigns supreme.
By Drew Curtis


Mass media aren't intentionally trying to dumb down the news, but there's no getting around the fact that nonnews types of articles are what drive ad revenue on the Internet. It's a subtle difference but an important one, because it removes intent as a motivation. Sadly, we still end up with the same result: bunk being passed off as news.

Sometimes, the revenue incentive in media produces hilarious results. Remember the girl who couldn't stop hiccuping this winter? ABC's "Good Morning America" representatives called her home 57 times in one day in a bid to book her for the show. Occasionally, though, you get horrific results, such as this past January when nearly every news outlet ran video of Saddam Hussein's execution ad nauseum for days. Apparently, snuff films are now OK for mainstream news. Now all that's left is a live on-air killing passing as news, maybe in a high-speed car chase. Wait, that's already happened. That leaves just pornography, and that's not far behind.

So whose fault is all this, the media's or the public's? Both. Real news is simply not a ratings leader. Evening network news shows aren't shown during prime time because they can't hack it. This is also why prime-time news shows consist almost entirely of celebrity interviews and pedophile arrests. Note which type of "news" gets the better time slot.

It's looking more and more as though the age of impartial journalism was a temporary blip in history whose reign ended a few years ago when the Internet turned news consumption from all-inclusive (per newspaper) to a la carte (per story).

My forthcoming book offers some solutions. Here's one: Split 24-hour news channels in two one carries all the "Fark," the other carries all the real news. Revenues funnel into the same bank account; everyone wins.

Until that happens, news consumers will have to adjust to a world in which journalistic principles are being thrown out the window in a frantic quest for ratings. And mass media outlets need to make a call: Either report serious news or give up all pretenses.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 03:38 PM
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1. Regardless of their motive, they are responsible and will be held accountable...
...once law and the Constitution are restored to the executive branch of our government.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 04:25 PM
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2. It's pitiful
that a month after Anna Nicole Smith's death, she's still big "news" that takes center stage.
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