Thursday, June 02, 2005


From a AP story on Ted Turner's recent speech to CNN employee's:
Turner, an outspoken media mogul who started CNN in 1980 but no longer controls the network, said he envisioned CNN as a place where rapes and murders that dominated local news wouldn't be emphasized, but he's seeing too much of that "trivial news" on the network he created, now second in ratings to Fox News Channel.

"I would like to see us to return to a little more international coverage on the domestic feed and a little more environmental coverage, and, maybe, maybe a little less of the pervert of the day," he said in a speech to CNN employees outside the old Atlanta mansion where the network first aired.

"You know, we have a lot of perverts on today, and I know that, but is that really news? I mean, come on. I guess you've got to cover Michael Jackson, but not three stories about perversion that we do every day as well."
As someone who could not care less about the Michael Jackson trial or the Runaway Bride, I have to agree.

The New Yorker profile of Dan Rather a few months ago also inadvertantly illustrated how sensationalistic news coverage is the crack cocaine of contemporary news broadcasting. As powerful as the mighty Dan Rather was before his recent fall, even he was trapped with such brain-damaged broadcasting trends as the ad nauseum repitition of video-footage from tabloid-level news stories. And remember, a big portion of Dan Rather's work day as lead anchor for "CBS Evening News" was consumed with choosing a heart-warming but otherwise completely irrelevant segment to end each broadcast. This guy is the head of a serious national news program on one of the most-watched broadcast networks in American society and he thinks that a story such as a 90-year-old lady who brings her 10 cats to church every Sunday is a great way to fill 15% of his daily broadcast time!


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