The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
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 [1]. 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!

  1. To which I would undoubtedly have given more attention had its format been more congenial.

free website counter Weblog Commenting and Trackback by