The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Networks entertain, don’t inform

Opinion-Networks entertain, don’t inform

editorial22107From the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing, independent news media have provided viewers with important news and information that will affect the world.

In today’s interconnected world where an event in China will affect more than just one country, the need for independent media is more important than ever.

But with large corporations owning the majority of newspapers, radio and televisions stations, independent news is at risk.

In the past 30 years, a potentially dangerous trend has taken place in newsrooms in the United States as corporate-owned media networks face increasing pressure from shareholders to cut costs and meet the bottom line.

News networks typically spend more money than they bring in.

With the expansion of entertainment melding into the news, networks are applying entertainment industry standards to that of broadcast news. Reporters are “cast” based on their looks and not on experience.

At one time, morning news programs such as the Today Show on NBC and The Early Show on CBS were used to inform viewers of international news topics.

Today’s corporate-owned networks often use the news divisions to cross promote their entertainment programs.

Television news viewers are bombarded with reality show updates and constant celebrity sex scandals in place of real news.

This practice has led to a lack of the coverage of international news that may be of interest to this country.

As NBC news reporter Ashleigh Banfield said in a Reuters/Hollywood Reporter article, “If we had paid more attention to Afghanistan in the ’80s and ’90s, we might not have had 9/11.”

Often times, people forget it is not the job of the media to tell them what they want to hear but what they need to hear.

Former CNN reporter and executive Bonnie Anderson wrote in her book News Flash Journalism, Infotainment and the Bottom-line Business of Broadcast News, “Informing the public is a sacred responsibility that news organizations have a duty to perform with absolute integrity. When entertaining viewers and winning ratings become more important than reporting news, society has something to worry about.”

Right now, the best place to receive real news without the drama and scare tactics is PBS, either BCC World News or the News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

Those who want to know who was voted off The Amazing Race, should watch ET or Extra..

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