The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
At least Karen Ryan kept her clothes on...
America is full of Dilemmas. And dichotomies. The French have a saying - tout et son contraire - which ought to be the US motto.
Thus - after the post-Jackson Comstockery, and the conniptions over local TV stations playing footage from the Medicare video news releases as if it was a news report - we have this great dek from the LA Times (April 15):
TV newswomen's scantily clad layouts in men's magazines incite journalistic backlash.
All pretty tame stuff (lad-mags are all tease) compared to material on the net, of course; but enough to get eyes a-poppin' and gums a-flappin', which is all rather the object of the exercise.
One rival station executive is quoted thus:
Either you're going to be in the news business or you're in the entertainment business. But you can't do both.
There, I think, he is precisely wrong: local TV news is renowned as offering a full meat counter - if it bleeds, it leads - in the one sense: why not in another?
The sanctimony is really coming two or three decades too late.
The Times gives us no numbers on viewer trust in these gals as - I hesitate to use the word - journalists. But surely the reason why the execs put tottie on the 5-7 is that the numbers told them to do so. The gravitas-laden Peter Jennings type - or even the cute-but-bluestocking-y Dana Priest type - don't seem to get a look in.
We have some national stats on audience views on local TV news in the 2004 State of the Media report . On believability, it quotes 2002 Pew stats that around 26% thought local TV news highly believable. And, though local news is clearly popular, the stats quoted show a commendably high rate of cynicism about its content being corrupted by ratings or external influences.
The viewers think it's showbiz, the anchors think it's showbiz - roll Karen Ryan!
free website counter