Here’s another great guest post by my friend, Anonymous…
Has anyone watched the news on TV lately? If you answered no, you’re probably an Amish farmer or stranded on an island, because the news is ubiquitous. I seem to remember there being perhaps two or three news reports daily. There was no Internet in those days, and those relatively few reports seemed to satisfy most viewers, not to mention the market for sponsors.
But now, local stations have around eight to ten (maybe more) news reports each day, many being back-to-back. In my mind, news consists of information regarding some event or person that might significantly affect someone’s life. It might be something like a foiled terrorist attack, a political scandal, a shuttle launch.
However, locally produced news shows are cheaper to produce or air than a lot of other programming, so broadcast time, at least, here, is filled to the brim with them. And since only so many “significant” events occur in any given day, the content is quite repetitive and diluted, and a lot of not-so-significant things are included to fill the time.
Further, there are a lot of commercials during these shows, but there is another way they take up the time that has become really irritating to me—the use of teasers. Like, “Will today be warmer than yesterday? I’ll tell you all about it in just a few minutes! First, we’ll go to traffic.” Or, “How can you avoid this kind of consumer fraud? Stay tuned for our report after last night’s scores!” Instead of the once-logical format of news > weather > sports, all the ingredients have been put into a big blender and are presented in little snippets.
Obviously, this is to try to get you to watch the whole show. But, for example, if I want to know about weather and roads before I leave for work, I have to watch these bits and pieces. How hard would it be to just do the entire weather report in one 6 or 7 minute segment? Stop telling me what you’re going to tell me, and just tell me!
Well, networks must make money doing it the way it’s done, but I just don’t have the patience to sort through all the minutia. So I get most of my daily information from the Internet, where I get to decide what’s significant to me. The teasers have teased me to the point of not watching local TV news at all. But if I ever miss it, I’m sure I can turn on the TV just about anytime during the day and catch up.