Friday, August 27, 2010

Rotary Dial Journalists?

Here’s an item from one of the daily columns to which I subscribe. It’s called “Newsbluezette.” Its subtitle is, “a daily insider newsletter for TV news professionals.”

I’ve subscribed to it for years. I like it.

The column item says a former NBC executive commented on the fact that many journalists today host a number of shows including entertainment programs as on-air talent. The executive says the new reality is that “on-air talents need to have a range these days.”

He is referring to high profile on-air journalists at all the networks that do other talent-laden presentations besides covering news stories.

What this executive seemingly suggests is that television journalists don’t need journalistic credibility anymore and since they do both kinds of on-air presentations their journalistic credibility ends and it doesn’t matter.

I don’t know who the executive was, but the fact that the executive asked not to be identified diminishes his credentials to comment.

One of the quotes in the NewsBlues column was this: The self-important journalists out there are the rotary dial phones of the new order.”

Mr. Executive I don’t agree with you. Your thinking is what is wrong with television news today.

In order to save money, get ratings, inflate the bottom line and amortize talent salary costs, broadcasting executives place journalists into positions where the line between journalism and entertainment blend.

I’ve done all types of news stories: hard news, soft news, and feature news under the sacred aegis of journalism. I’ve also worked in the entertainment arena where journalistic standards did not apply. I knew it. The audience knew it. It was labeled entertainment at the outset.

I don’t mind being a “rotary dial” journalist. The un-named executive sees that term as pejorative. I see it as honorable for it stands for integrity, ethics, objectivity, impartiality, truthfulness, accuracy, fairness and accountability.

Credibility contains all of those attributes. Bring credibility back Mr. Executive and we will finally return to television news programs that are truly fair and balanced.

1 comment:

Topher08 said...

If you bring credibility back to Television news, then, wouldn't you put Fox News Channel out of business, thus adding to the unemployment rate nationwide?

Free Blog CounterEnglish German Translation