Thursday, February 24, 2011

21st Century Media = Ratings, Ratings, Ratings.

The 21st century media is a joke.

Take the horrific Gabrielle Giffords story for example - every media outlet, with the exception of the Associated Press, reported that she was shot and killed in Saturday afternoon's assassination attempt. The television news networks, including Fox News, trusted NPR's initial on-the-ground report, without extensive verification. Thankfully, all of them were wrong.

News channels and reporters no longer report the news; they attempt to beat out the others in our 21st century world of ratings. In the early 20th century newspapers became the literal gold standard because their readership trusted them. That philosophy doesn't apply to many media organizations this day and age.

The media has also attempted to impact national elections as well. Back in the 2004 Presidential election, they basically called the contest for Senator John Kerry before 75% of the United States voting booths actually closed. President George W. Bush won the election by three million votes, and who knows that would have happened in Wisconsin, which Kerry won by only 11,000 votes, if the media hadn't tried to play kingmaker instead of reporter.

I will not blame new media for 21st century reporting problems, because they usually depend on old media for their breaking news and headlines. This relationship is usually beneficial. However, the obsession with top-notch ratings has forced top-notch journalism into early retirement. I am hoping that the main players in both media worlds learn that caution and correctness will always beat out rush and ratings in the long run.

What say you?

No comments:

Post a Comment