The guy, lets call him Bob, because I’m too lazy or not interested enough to look up his real name, made a good point at the end of this video about the agent who works for people who get caught up in these tabloid stories. Either simply as victims of suspects of whatever the crime might have been. George Zimmerman would be the obvious example of a suspect put on trial for the killing of Travon Martin. And the way, again Bob talked about this agent that looks for “OMG stories” and people caught up in them and how to make money off of the stories.
Because seriously that is what these stories are about. What is awesome, what is hot will make people go or think oh my God about and get them to watch their program or network and read their publication about. That is just the culture and society that we’ve become, or have been for a very long time with the internet and now throw in the social network age has just made obvious to everyone. It is not what is important and what people need to know that is important to cable networks, meaning so-called news networks. But what is hot, what is awesome, what grabs people’s attention and drives them to their shows.
This might sound like an extreme example, but I could a time when, let’s CNN who at least prided themselves at one point for their hard news coverage, but I could see them with an issue involving what to cover at this exact moment with two competing breaking stories in their laps. “Should we cover America’s invasion of Syria to oust the Assad Regime that just murdered thousands of Syrian citizens in Damascus? Or should we cover Paris Hilton being arrested and arraigned for shoplifting?” Again this might sound extreme, but anyone old enough to remember the wall-to-wall CNN coverage of the O.J. Simpson case in the mid-1990s.
Cable news doesn’t mean hard news, meaning important news. Cable news is not another term for 60 Minutes or Frontline. It just means, “this is what is going on right now that we think you are interested in and why you should watch it and boost our ratings, because we’ll give you the best coverage of what you’re interested in”. Cable news is now combined with tabloid news into one entity. And they go where they believe is the most popular story at the time to drive up their ratings.
Matt Penstone: The Newsroom-Casey Anthony