[opendtv] Re: News: Should viewers pay for local TV news?

  • From: Albert Manfredi <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2008 18:12:54 -0500

Craig Birkmaier posted:
Should viewers pay for local TV news?
Dec 12, 2008 8:35 AM

Speaking at a National Press Club forum on the future of journalism Dec. 8, 
Darrell Adams, news editor for Waterman Broadcasting, said TV broadcasters are 
feeling the same economic pressures confronting newspapers and must engage 
viewers in a conversation about what they are willing to pay for news.
[ ... ]
Phil Jones, a former CBS News correspondent, said people are turning away from 
TV news because it has lost its punch. In the past, he said, people felt they 
had to sit down and watch Walter Cronkite on CBS or Huntley-Brinkley on NBC. 

"The reason there is no longer an appointment with nightly television news, the 
reason people are not sitting down or hanging around for the morning show, is 
they feel they have been stung," Jones said. "They have seen the news shows go 
soft after the first story. They are looking at themselves and saying, 'I don't 
need to know that.'" 

But Matt Bernaldo, managing editor for Waterman Broadcasting's online service, 
said the change in viewing habits has more to do with changes in lifestyle and 
changes in technology. People don't come to watch a TV newscast, he said, 
because they can get news elsewhere, even on cell phones.
I have to believe that Matt Bernaldo is closer to the truth.
It may be that those involved in any profession overestimate the importance of 
their contribution to society. Things were done differently in the past simply 
because they were fewer options. TV shows "by apointment" were very simply a 
constraint mandated by technology, not something the average joe preferred over 
the alternatives that followed.
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