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Rantings of a Crazed Soccer Mom
Tuesday, 26 April 2005
Too Much Information?
Or not enough?

Watching the nightly news at 6:30 is a tradition at our house. We eat our dinner in front of the television and discuss the day's events during the commercials. Usually, we watched Peter Jennings, but we would often switch to NBC to watch Tom Brokaw and later his replacement Brian Williams

But thanks to the wonder of satellite television, we now watch the BBC and ITV news from Great Britain. I don't miss the American news at all. Instead of the sound bites and dueling split screens, we see longer stories on serious subjects like the widespread killer bacteria in British hospitals and the upcoming parliamentary elections. And if there's anything really important going on in the US, they tell us.

Watching the US news just gets me angry. Now I realize that was the network's intention all along. They generate a lot of noise showing their spokesmen with diametrically opposed viewpoints, but they don't enlighten. They don't educate. They just confuse the issue.

Anger is what sells. We love a good fight, especially if our side wins.

Years ago when I was a newspaper reporter I attended a zoning meeting on a particularly complex issue. Cincinnati Pizza King Buddy LaRosa wanted to turn his mansion into a five star restaurant. Of course, residents objected. Channel 5 News was there to cover it. I left the meeting to write a fairly lengthy story, making a huge effort to include all the points discussed. Channel 5's version was a minute and a half of air time. The reporter presented the basic facts, plus short comments from people on either side of the issue. Ever since, I've always wondered just how much the TV news people are leaving out in order to distill their stories down to a minute and a half of airtime.

These days I get all my news from National Public Radio.

Posted by judy5cents at 9:11 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 April 2005 11:57 AM EDT
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