The Value of the News

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Newspaper, Television, Internet

Where do you go to get the News?

Has America lost interest in the Newspapers?  Newspaper subscriptions are in decline, why?  Are people unwilling to pay for the subscriptions?  Are the stories written in the paper stale with regards to news on television and the internet?  The decline continues a 20-year trend in the Newspaper industry as people increasingly turn to other media sources such as the Internet and 24-hour Cable News Networks for information.  But are the Cable News Networks and Internet sources any better at reporting the News?  Circulation is merely one measure of a Newspaper’s health. The most important metric is revenue which Cable News as well as Newspaper subscriptions are undeniably linked to their survivability.  While both the Newspaper and Cable News Networks have embraced the Internet as another media outlet to distribute the news, the revenue stream has been mainly advertising, and not subscriptions.  That is not sustainable when reader and viewership is in decline.

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What Is The Value Of The Product You Are Selling

Another issue with newspapers is the content of stories.  For example, in the Tribune-Herald, Hilo’s local newspaper, one of the stories by the Associated Press that was printed claimed that Republicans are responsible for stopping Obama’s health care agenda.  But that’s not entirely true.  Yes, Republicans are against Obama’s health care plan, but it is the American people rising up at townhall meetings to voice their disapproval with the Health Care plan.  Republicans have no say in this whole debate.  There are 60 Democrats in the Senate, that is a super majority.  There are 435 Representatives in the House, 233 are Democrats and 202 are Republicans, again a super majority.   The Democrats could pass anything they wanted to and the Republicans couldn’t do anything to stop it.  So that statement by the Associated Press is patently false and misleading.  If the product you are selling is misleading, inaccurate and and false, then where’s the value?

It’s like these people that write for the Newspapers think the American people are uninformed.   I believe they think we’re stupid and we will not question their writings.  I believe most people are informed and make their own decisions based on facts as they are presented.  The value of the news is as important as the accuracy in its content.  That’s called Objectivity.

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Measuring Accuracy In Journalism

One of the metrics for judging quality news reporting is by looking at who’s watching who.  Ratings say a lot about a news program on television.   What people see and hear will determine the decisions people will make.  Accuracy and objective reporting by presenting both sides to a story will allow people to decide for themselves a belief in the stories presentation.  Was the story presented in an objective manner, or was the story presented as an opinion?  People can tell the difference on how the news is presented and if there was any bias in the presentation.

Just look at the ratings for Cable News networks.  This report clearly shows who is leading in the Cable News networks.  Fox News consistently beats the other cable networks 2 to 1.  Why is that?  I believe it’s in the content and quality of the reporting.  I consider myself a News-Hound.  I watch all the Cable News programs; MSNBC, CNBC, CNN and FOX (where do I find the time).  I read many magazines, newspapers and related publications.   Everything and I listen to everything on the radio from NPR to KHNR to KPUA (you can pick up that station on the Big Island).  To get a better perspective on Fox News and why it’s winning against its competing networks, I’ve spent a huge amount of time viewing the other networks: CNN, MSNBC and CNBC.  The difference in quality of journalism is startling.

Take a look at how MSNBC conducts in depth interviews

This, make believe journalist Lawrence O’Donnell is simply awful.  He is a bully.  How is this journalism?   Not allowing your guest to answer any questions.  Constantly interrupting and changing the subject and not allowing Peter Schiff get his point across is a clear tactic to make the guest look stupid and distort his point of view.  This is called Ambush Journalism.  This is a Jerry Springer application of publicly humiliating its guests through rapid fire questions and not allowing the guest ample time to answer.

Now observe this from Fox News regarding an opinion written in the Wall Street Journal regarding a Veteran’s Administration” End of Life guide”.  In the book published by the government for the Veteran’s Administration, “Your Life, Your Choices” clearly states an end of life option.  The author of the Wall Street Journal opinion “A Death Book For Veteran’s” was written by Jim Towey.  Shortly after the article, revisions were made to the end-of-life guide.

Now observe how the rebuttal is handled.  Note that the host Chris Wallace politely asks Tammy Duckworth, the assistant secretary of veteran’s affairs, about the controversial points in the Veterans Booklet.

Watching this exchange is how journalism is supposed to happen.  You ask questions, let your guest answer, question the answers accuracy with facts, and then reexamine the accuracy of the guest answers.  In this case, Ms. Duckworth was being less than candid in her answers and when pressed about the information in the VA material, Ms Duckworth continued to be evasive.  She is even denying the existence of the End of Life clause in the VA material.  Yet, Chris Wallace produces the material as quoted in the current updated VA pamphlet.

Ms. Duckworth may have held her ground, but she was either uninformed about the VA material or being deliberately evasive in her answers.  Repeatedly she tried to change the subject, but Wallace kept the focus on the subject matter.  This is good journalism.  This is what journalism is supposed to be.  There was no deception, no attack journalism, just a pursuit of the truth.

Later after this exchange a debate between Senator Arlen Spector and Rep. Paul Ryan continued to examine this document and the Obama health care plan.  This is a Fair and Balanced example of why Fox News continues to get 2X ratings over their competition.  Insightful debate and civil discourse makes for a better forum for people to make up their minds regarding issues such as health care.

HereLiesJournalism

Here Lies Journalism :  A Once Noble Profession

CNN is the original Cable News Network, and I used to watch them all the time.  That all changed after September 11, 2001 when the quality and consistency of CNN’s reporting became increasing bias, not that CNN wasn’t already liberally bias anyway.  CNN was always bias to the left, but after Fox debuted, they increasingly became more left leaning.  I used to live in Airports in another life before moving to Hawai’i.  Most airports have CNN’s broadcasting on television screens at the airport gates.  In such a captured environment with nothing else to do, you’re at the mercy of volume control or else tune out the program.

I neither want a right leaning nor left leaning news channels.  I want to make up my own mind about current events.  Fox presents both dynamics, but does include apposing points of view to balance out the content.  For example, left leaning Geraldo Rivera will have right leaning Anne Coulter as the counter on his program.  That’s Fair and Balanced even if it presents both extremes.  I can still agree or disagree with either presenter.

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Journalism: The Next Generation

Something that has been around for awhile, but is becoming more innovative is Opinion Journalism.  Lou Dobbs at CNN and Bill O’Reilly at Fox have been around for years.  Then there is Keith Olbermann at MSNBC.  While opinion journalism is nothing new, it is evolving into a different forum.  I believe this new format is catching on with the American people.  Lou Dobbs and his cohort Jack Cafferty at CNN seem like two angry old men just disagreeing with everything.  Clucking their tongues, shaking their heads, occasionally bringing in guest opinion to bolster their subject matter.  I won’t even get into Keith Olbermann because, well, you just watch him and form your own opinion.

Bill O’Reilly has a more center point of view as an opinionator.  I much prefer the O’Reilly format because he presents a panel of varying opinions which gives the item for discussion an interesting preview into individual thought.  O’Reilly allows the quest opine and to voice their ideology.  This leaves the viewer with a balanced view on whose viewpoint they agree with.

Then, there is Glenn Beck. What I like about Glenn Beck is that he asks questions.  Provocative questions that should make people think about what’s going on in their government.  Take this for example:

This and other program content material on the Glenn Beck program on Fox has gotten advertisers to pull their commercials.  Calling Beck inflammatory:  For example The Clorox Co., which once advertised during Beck’s Fox News program released a public statement that says in part “we do not want to be associated with inflammatory speech used by either liberal or conservative talk show hosts.”  Beck’s radio program is ranked number three overall in the nation, behind only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. His Fox News talk show has more viewers than MSNBC and CNBC combined. He has a big megaphone, and millions of hard-core supporters. My guess is Color of Change has picked a fight that they cannot win.

If they, the people that would discriminate and suppress free speech, thought they had Glenn Beck on Cable News to worry about.  What about the Internet?   Take this example from Pajama Media TV:

This is absolutely an interesting perspective on the consolidating facts, and presenting them in a format that both includes news and opinion all at the same time.   Albeit, in a more MTV entertainment way.  Will this be the way of the new journalism?  More and more people are getting their information from the internet.  Will the truth get lost in the World Wide Web or will it be more Free to speak truth to power?

I do hope that all mediums of information will continue to thrive and appeal to viewers.  Although, free market competition will forever change the dynamics of how we get information.  The one thing we cannot let happen is let anything prevent this information from being freely distributed on whatever media people choose to use.

First Amendment Rights

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What’s for Dinner?

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Wok Fired Shrimp & Scallops

Pan seared shrimp and scallops with a chipotle tamarind sauce,
crispy hearts of palm, angel hair pasta tossed in cilantro-red pepper butter

cafePesto

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2 Responses to “The Value of the News”

  1. sharethisurlaboutglenbek Says:

    You should check out my blog, The Glenn Beck Review.

    • Kini Says:

      Talk about distortion! You’re a hack full of misinformation.

      Rachel Madcow, you consider her, and the rest of (p)MSNBC pretend-to-be journalists, legitimate reporting? Pahleese!

      I’ll trust Beck’s analysis before listening to anyone from (p)MSNBC’s wannabe journalists.

      And what other Conservative Talk Show hosts hate Beck?
      You cite Alex Jones? Alex Jones is an idiot, and he’s so far to the left it isn’t even funny.

      Why even bother to read your lame blog? It’s like Arguing With Idiots.


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