Just Say Noruba

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #1
    I'm happy to report I apparently know even less about the woman who went missing in Aruba than does Arianna Huffington.
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    how is that even possible?
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #3
    Although I agree w/point of the article Arianna Huffington either has no idea how TV ratings work and/or that was very poor use of exaggeration to illustrate a point.


    Lethal
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #4
    Well obviously it's because they're so liberal. Everyone knows the media is dominated by liberals. Look at how they were so hands off with Bill Clinton, and yet they're all over Bush's ass like this. I mean, zero stories, come on... that's off the chart.
    ;)
     
  5. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #5
    "The mainstream media regularly confuse interesting with important. What's more, they don't even do the former very well, and they largely ignore the latter."

    The confusion seems to have strengthened over the last few decades. However, I am coming around to agree with the idea about "giving the public what it wants". At least, if you consider "the public" to include the couch potato crowd or the tabloid buyers.

    Heck, look at the focus on human interest in the various sports. Football or car racing, some guy/gal is asking, "How does it feel?" about all manner of stuff. Look at the TV time given to programs about sports, rather than showing some sporting event. (You don't need to actually watch; just go through a program guide. :) )

    Regardless of our own individual political views here at this forum, we at least explore various events and subjects in more than shallow fashion. How often at a bar or at lunch do you find "just folks" who are more aware of a Downing Street Memo than of a celebrity's latest brouhaha?

    'Rat
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #6
    Infotainment. As a whole the country doesn't want to think, it wants to be led. People can't be bothered to actually use their brain and think every now and then.

    And I think it's only going to get worse as my generation (just a few years outta college) starts establishing itself in the workplace and creates a larger impact on the country. While I was studying in London in '00 I'd regularly get into rather intelligent conversations at bars w/random people my own about history or politics or world events. And that rarely ever happened to me in the US. Here, lots of what I hear stems from the soundbite someone heard on CNN. No effort to find the context, no digging for the backstory, no spending 15-minutes Googling stuff to find out the whole story. Just a blurb off CNN and away they go w/their "informed" opinion.

    Critical thinking has just gone down in flames.


    Lethal
     
  7. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Let's not miss the main point. Huffington is saying that the news media hasn't really got a clue about what people want. For the most part, they're tuning out entirely. The media as a whole hasn't got the imagination, or the professional or ethical commitment, to understand that it's at least partly their fault that people don't care. Then take a look over at Capitol Hill, where the only news programming that doesn't follow the "if it bleeds it leads" approach to current events, is under full-scale political attack. Taken together, I think talking about "giving the people what they want" is just another way of blaming the victims. The victims -- that would be us.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #8
    I think the marketing side of the media does have a clue about what people want which is why the lead so often w/soft news and/or sensationalistic stories.

    Her numbers aren't clear and her deductions don't make sense and are misleading (dare I say sensationalistic ;)). Plus, each news channel she listed is not on network/broadcast TV so the numbers are going to be low even though they could be good relatively speaking. A hit show on cable probably won't even have ratings that would crack the top 20 of network TV. And you have to consider the effect of the internet on news channels. I can elaborate if anyone wants more nitty-gritty "this is how TV ratings are done" details.


    I agree to an extent, but... People are choosing BS fluff over news in terms of what they want to watch when they turn on the TV. So news starts adding BS fluff to pull viewers back. But the news can't say it's adding BS fluff 'cause it's the news and it isn't supposed to have BS fluff.

    It's a chicken/egg situation. Everyone complains about the crap on TV. But if the crap on TV wasn't making $$$ it wouldn't be on TV (at least not for very long).

    Many people (possibly most people) use TV as an escape. They want fantasy, not reality, when turn on the boob-tube (yes, I realize the irony because "reality TV" is still hotter than ever). I've run into an alarming number of people that stopped watching the news or reading the paper 'cause it was too depressing?:eek: Yeah, 'cause if you don't know about, then it can't be happening...

    Of course there is the option of taking the high road, but the high road could possibly lead to the station/channel/program taking a dive in the ratings and leaving the air. Oh the wonders of the news business...


    Lethal
     
  9. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #9
    More people are tuning out than tuning in. This is the main point, and it seems pretty apparent that the news programmers aren't going to reverse this particular trend by upping the amperage of crap (the only strategy they seem willing to try these days). They've satisfied themselves with chasing the segment of the population that craves a steady diet of informational junk food. The rest of us don't get served.

    I notice you edited out my reference to the current attack on public broadcasting in your reply. If it wasn't obvious, my point was that the "official" view by many in Washington appears to be that we Americans have no real need to know. Taken together with the mainstream news media's collective inability (or dare I say it, unwillingness) to provide us with useful information, then I think a broader picture emerges of an effort, on multiple fronts, to keep us as completely in the dark as possible.
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #10
    Crucial point here, particularly when you look at what PBS is facing. One of the few news outlets that didn't toe the line from the government, and it's funding is in jeopardy. Most news organizations are following FOX into the sewer. And of course over there you have the top blowhard opining that you can criticize the government up to a point, but then if becomes treasonous.

    Couple that with most news organizations being owned by much larger conglomerates, driven by the need to 'turn a profit' for the company and you get a media that has little interest in shaking up the status quo. There's no budget for sending reporters into the field. On the contrary, there is every incentive to pull reporters in close and not let them roam the city or the state or the nation or the world on the trail of a story.


    In that kind of poisoned atmosphere it is little wonder that the news organizations have become a de facto mouthpiece for monied interests instead of a voice for the people.
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #11
    And TV ratings, as a whole, have been dropping for 20 years. My point is w/o any context the numbers she mentioned are kinda pointless and potentially misleading.

    Agreed. And what could be even more scary is the apathy/acceptance by the general population.

    Mactastic,
    I agree w/yer last post too. The giant conglomerates are very unsettling. Nothing like a half-dozen mega-corps controlling the vast majority of everything we see, hear, or read. The the past 10 years or so the business of news has drastically turned into the news business (or should I say newsbiz).


    I would just like to take a second to say it's nice to agree on something once in a while. :)

    Lethal
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    It happens from time to time. :D
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    IJ,
    Our back-and-fourth 'bout the viewers got me thinking about something. Back in the day (pre cable) it was important to b'cast content that was viewable by a wide variety of people because there were only a handful of channels and each channel was going after the biggest audience possible. Now w/cable (as well as the internet) broadcasting, in terms of going after the broadest audience possible, isn't as important and there has been a trend towards narrow casting. Now, narrowing casting is cool for niche groups to get their own channel (Golf Channel, TechTV, etc.,), but it is not too cool when it comes to news is it? News shows, especially cable shows, don't need to be "mainstream" to be successful if they can get a small, but consistent, following. Imagine, a world where everyone gets the news they want, even if it's not really the news that happened.

    Fun...


    Lethal
     
  14. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #14
    all imo...

    i think the main factors leading to crappy, non-challenging, non-questioning and uninformative news:
    1. corporate ownership, leading to outside influence of content
    2. the end of news programs as loss-leaders and the need to make profit
    3. a public that cares less about real news than it used to
    4. news managers who care less about public service

    those are all inter-related.
     
  15. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #15
    To some extent, this is happening (Fox is a great example of news designed to cater to a specific audience) ... but to an even larger extent, fragmentation has meant a race to the bottom in terms of quality.
     

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