Monday, December 18, 2006

Somewhere there's a kitten stuck in a tree about to become famous

What's going on with cable news standards?

I'm talking about the tendency of the three major cable news channels to go live for hours at a time on stories that, while certainly tragic for the individuals and the families involved, are not any definition of national news.

Actually, I understand the business reasons behind why they do it. They have 24 hours a day of airtime to fill (although it's not like there isn't plenty of genuine news to cover). More likely, it's because increasingly the news industry is relying on cheap, exploitative, tug-on-your-heartstring items.

But the recent cable news overload on a couple of stories that frankly don't deserve to be national events is frustrating.

The sad story of that CNET editor who died while trying to get help for his family after they became trapped in a snowstorm, and, more recently, those lost mountain climbers became ongoing LIVE and breathless BREAKING NEWS items on the cable news nets for hours at a time.

Sure, they're worth a mention or even a two-minute report as part of a newscast, but the airwaves are instead turned over to these stories, literally for hours at a time.

It really doesn't say much for the journalism standards at the top of the cable news channels.

Not that this is a brand new direction for them, of course. We all know way too much about Natalee Holloway and Laci Peterson than we really should.


Anonymous said...

And don't forget all Monica all the time during that joke!

Anonymous said...

OJ. That's all you need to say.

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