Monday, August 2nd, 2004 • No Comments on News Worthy?
Could someone please explain why a show labeled and promoted as “news” has 5 minutes of local news (which might include a story about a bear up a tree), 3 minutes of national news (most often some “human interest” story), 6 minutes of weather (whether the skies are clear or not), 8 minutes of sports (including high school sports), 5 minutes of commercials, 2 minutes of promos for the next news show (which will be the current news show repeated almost verbatim) and 1 entire minute dedicated to what’s going on in the rest of the world?
First off, weather is not news unless it’s going to seriously impact people’s lives. Rain is not news. A sunny day is not news. Slight winds from the east are not news. Most people live in some sort of dwelling with a roof and most people drive cars. For most of us, the greatest impact we’re going to get from the weather is walking to and from our cars into buildings with roofs and, most likely, heating and air conditioning systems. Weather does not affect us unless it is a hurricane, tornado or torrential rain that could cause flooding. A rainy weekend might screw up my picnic, but it is not news. And the Weather Channel has it covered.
Secondly, sports is not news. Sports is… a game. Several games, rather. Several interesting, fun to watch, well paying (if it’s professional sports) games. That is not news any more than covering the local D&D tournament is news (it’s a game, after all). Sports is more than adequately represented by the folks on the multiple ESPN channels.
To watch news in the United States is to think we live on an island surrounded by vast oceans on a planet populated only by Americans. International news gets almost zero coverage unless it’s with regard to the latest terrorist threat or a sporting event (which, I repeat, is not news). Even with the national news shows attempting to pick up the slack of the local networks, viewers still get a maximum 8 minutes of world news.
Also, what is with the heavily recycled news? If you see a story reported at 5 p.m., you will also see it at 11 p.m., 6 a.m. and noon the next day. If there is no news to report, they should simply tell the viewers there is nothing going on (at least in this country, as I’m pretty sure there is a lot going on in the rest of the world, we just don’t care about it) and pop in a rerun of Friends.
What would really be news worthy is a network actually spending their 30 minutes of alloted airtime to report on real news.