Monday, February 23, 2009

Little is left to tell ...

... Philadelphia Newspapers Seeking Bankruptcy. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Phil, over at Brandywine Books, asks in a comment appended to an earlier post if I have any thoughts on this. And the answer, I guess, is in the title to this post. But take a look at today's front page. The only real news there is the story about the paper's filing for bankruptcy. Beyond that, the nearest thing to an interesting story is Carrie Rickey's piece about the Oscars. Once upon a time that story would have had a Hollywood dateline. What this story is about is a television broadcast. Carrie is a very good writer who knows her subject as well as anybody and can bring this sort of thing off with flair and aplomb - as she in fact does. But everybody who was interested in the Oscar broadcast watched it. One of the abiding problems with contemporary journalism - most obvious in the broadcast variety - is this insistence on providing commentary on what the rest of us have witnessed. The President gives a television address and immediately afterward a trio of talking heads pop up to tell us what he said. Well, I'm neither deaf nor blind. I saw him and heard what he said. And I can think for myself. Give Carrie a few days so she can write a real essay about the Oscars, and let her do it her way, don't tell her how you think it should be done. Trust me, you'd have something eminently worth reading that you couldn't possibly find anywhere else.
Anyway, scroll down the lefthand column and ask yourself how many of those stories are worth your time and money. This is what you get when your paper is run by the unadventurous and dull.

See also When Dinosaurs Smoked Cigarettes …
People still want news. They just don’t want the same news as everyone else has.

4 comments:

  1. Frank, this is one of the best observations you've ever observed, and you've observed a few good ones.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Roger. You are in a position to know as well as anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you very much. So, you don't think the puff piece on Sec. Clinton is interesting news? I'm speechless.

    ReplyDelete
  4. One of the abiding problems with contemporary journalism - most obvious in the broadcast variety - is this insistence on providing commentary on what the rest of us have witnessed. The President gives a television address and immediately afterward a trio of talking heads pop up to tell us what he said. Well, I'm neither deaf nor blind. I saw him and heard what he said.

    Man, you said it all with that. That's it in a nutshell. It's what I've been thinking and saying a long time—ever since the rise of CNN, really. All those hours of "news" to fill and nothing to say . . . .

    ReplyDelete