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You may have seen some commentary on the internet about the resignation of Ariana Pekary, a producer from MSNBC. She wrote a cogent summary of her dissatisfaction with televised news on her personal blog.
Much of her frustration revolves around the financial motivation that drives the media. You will enjoy reading her analysis but I want to quote one short section that struck me as insightful:
“Due to the simple structure of the industry – the desire to charge more money for commercials, as well as the ratings bonuses that top-tier decision-makers earn – they always relapse into their old profitable programming habits.
I understand that the journalistic process is largely subjective and any group of individuals may justify a different set of priorities on any given day. Therefore, it’s particularly notable to me, for one, that nearly every rundown at the network basically is the same, hour after hour. And two, they use this subjective nature of the news to justify economically beneficial decisions. I’ve even heard producers deny their role as journalists. A very capable senior producer once said: “Our viewers don’t really consider us the news. They come to us for comfort.”
They come to us for comfort. That is more truthful than most of us would want to admit.Published in