Or is the sound bite starting to just be a distraction? I do not watch television, have not used my set for anything but the occasional enjoyment of a DVD for years. At work we have a television set in the bistro and I will catch a couple of minutes of CNN as I warm up my lunch. It exhausts me with its intense beat and brevity.
No time to figure out what it's about, never mind understand implications, just a veneer approach and a continuous request for input from the audience. When did journalism become so needy?
The other part of the equation is that I spend the majority of the time in front of a different screen - that of a computer. When I am online, I tend to scan the publications I syndicate, and rarely spend more than thirty minutes reading the news, unless I find a good, in depth story.
A special report, or a nice piece of reporting that goes into lots of detail and coverage earns my time. That happens more rarely than I'd like, still it happens and it is highly stimulating. When enough time passed from the immediate need to report the news piece, journalists sometimes get to the part of requiring reality to explain itself.
As I've written elsewhere, Christiane Amanpour thinks that “there are some situations that one simply cannot be neutral about. Objectivity does not mean treating all sides equally. It means giving each side a hearing.” Herein lies the first lesson in thinking about news reporting - it is about being balanced in recognizing differing points of view.
Now that I publish in a public forum, I welcome solid sources that explore facts and tell compelling stories. As main stream media is looking to use the passion of bloggers to uncover topics that are of interest to readers, as journalists use social media to do their research of the public sentiment and more, I look to main stream media to provide unassailable data points.
At the same time that main stream media is moving away from in depth coverage and reporting due to cuts in budgets and staff, they are also moving closer to the style and format of new media. Quick, snack size bites that feed but do not nourish. In that light, does in fact main stream media add value?
[image courtesy of Cox & Forkum]