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 Post subject: Paxman & TV news
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:56 pm 
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About time someone in BBC criticised its 'news' service...
http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/ ... ss&feed=11

Does anyone here still watch TV news, whether BBC or not?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:37 pm 
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Teletext is great but its not long for this world now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:21 am 
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I still have BBC Breakfast on in the mornings before I go to work. And, more often than not, I'll watch the 10 o'clock news.

And yeah, Paxman's right. Even Newsnight is going slowly down hill.

Trouble is, it's still the best that's out there.

I still hope that in a few years, we'll have a decent news service back, a news service that makes you think instead of just washing over you in a vague wave of disaster and death and whining idiots who can't see past their own selfish agendas.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:19 am 
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I've not watched TV news in years. I RSS the Guardian Unlimited, Al Jazeera English, a variety of current affairs / politics blogs, and receive Reuters AlertNet updates, Znet Sustainer essays, and several other newsletters via email. It means that I miss out on, I don't know, some shit about a dead princess, or some halfwit celebrity's latest foolish actions, but hey... win some lose some.

The key problems with TV news are that there's an over-reliance on the sensation of visuals, that because (like radio news) it comes in a constant flow you can't stop to fact-check an assertion or claim, translations are typically unattributed and unverifiable, there's a low information density compared to a similar amount of time spent reading a well-written article, there's remarkably little effort to contextualise events and provide substantive analysis, and particularly in comparison with web-based news there aren't any hotlinks to chase up related stories or ideas. Although to be fair the criticisms I've just listed aren't just because of the medium; some are due to the lack of interest in or lack of profit in providing deep, critical analyses of events (sometimes justified by the inherently absurd claim that by not doing this, they are being "objective" - no doubt many at Fox News truly believe that they are objective, for one's own ideology is invisible).

However, on the subject of TV news, there's an interesting new televised news service being constructed in the form of "The Real News", the intention of which is to build a non-corporate / non-government funding model and provide a non-profit news service that reports on worldwide events. It's not clear just how they're going to be able to support it with just member donations or subscriptions, but there's a good chance that there's something groundbreaking going on there. There is already video-format news being produced online (I think Democracy Now, for example, do a regular show) but this is a much larger project than that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:58 am 
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Isn't the reality that news has become shoddier on account of the increased competition? It seems that these days the imperative is to be the first to air the story, rather than the first to cross-check the sources and get the facts straight. Hence all the non-stories we seem to get these days. It's all about novelty rather than accuracy.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:05 pm 
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News now is it is aimed at influencing rather than informing and managed rather than disseminated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:16 pm 
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So, being a little too young to remember the days before the information explosion with any degree of objectivity, is this decrease in the quality of news reporting recent, or has it just been highlighted by the new mediums now available?

Oh, and friendlygun - where the hell do you get all your time from?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:03 pm 
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I work full time, so I don't have that much free time to spare. ;)

Fortunately during quieter periods in the office I can check up on my RSS feeds, and I'm a fast reader anyway. Otherwise I think years of having too many interests & hobbies has resulted in me being able to speed through things (of course, this is at the expense of a more sedate, contemplative approach to life, but you can't have your cake and eat it).

Oh, and I filter out a lot of news stories - so I'm usually not 100% up on details of something unless I specifically look into it. But given that 75% of what's in a newspaper's daily reportage is supposition, repetition, or lifestyle puff pieces, it's pretty easy to filter out a lot of crap.

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