Monday, March 26, 2012

servants catering to their every whim.

More and more in modern journalism, networks and journalists are marketing their content to fit their audience. This means that in an effort to get more viewers, journalism is letting the audience, for the most part, control the content. I thought it's essentially in a journalists' job description to decide what is news. Marketing the content, catering to their wants, has both advantages and disadvantages associated with it.

First of all, there's the chance that the journalist will get more viewers, more readers, etc. which is obviously a serious advantage. But what about the minority in that particular society that isn't interested in that topic? Or what if the viewers didn't know they were interested in a particular topic so then the media ignores something that is potentially both important as well as interesting?

To describe the latter, I liked the example in the book The Elements of Journalism: "Only 29 percent said they would be interested in that kind of reporting [politics]. Yet when people were asked whether they'd be interested in 'news reports about what governments can do to improve the performance of local schools,' the percentage of 'very interested' jumped to 59 percent" (Kovach 221). The same was true for other, more specified, politics issues.

In my opinion, this means that people don't necessarily know what they want, they simply know that they want news. It is a journalist's job to do this, not to cater to everyone's personal taste.

I think that as the practice of marketing content becomes even more freequent and popular, people will lose trust in the practice of journalism. Additionally, I believe that the slope will be even more steep, even more slippery, and lead journalists to a place full of hype and sensationalism, an oh-so-terrifying place where reporters don't even check to see if their mother loves them and that has a cat in every story.

( -- talks about the loving mother....)

( -- tells the story about the cat, 5-6 paragraphs down.)

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