>Do You Get The News You Need or that You Want?

>I’ve found myself back in Milwaukee due to a health situation with a family member, and it’s very interesting looking at the world from the very isolated confines of Southeastern Wisconsin. It really is like being in another country, as I’ve mentioned on this corner of the internet from time to time.

Milwaukee has a horrendous crime rate and yet the majority of the time the news prefers to lead with stories related to the Packers or weather. It is truly local news as opposed to news provided locally. Not but a few days ago, a UWM student was shot (ostensibly in a drug deal, and not fatally–so far), but the lead story on one of the stations was how the wind knocked over a streetlamp.

The local NBC affiliate, which used to be the ratings juggernaut has mostly fallen to 2nd place in all areas, and for some reason believes that the key to restoring its glory will be in hiring twink reporters and presenting the remaining veterans as demi-gods protecting local interests. (Then there’s the disingenuous nature of trying to come across as folksy while working on a set designed to be urban chic–a metaphor for the region itself.)

The local ABC station played ultra-coy during the 5 pm news with their teaser about a man arrested for indecent exposure, stating that they couldn’t say what the nature of the crime was due to the hour, which personally suggests to me that they either have no thesaurus handy or hypersensitive viewers.

I am inclined to believe the former since this same station broadcasted the Dahmer trial live and uncensored in the middle of the day.

There’s a problem in Milwaukee and one that I suspect is going on in many markets throughout the country: The public is being perceived as being too sensitive for the world, only because a vocal minority (frequently the ones whose disapproval masks their own culpability) wants to see a rose-coloured world.

How to change this? I don’t know. You could argue that you can go and find alternative news sources, but to me that sounds like the flip side of the rose-coloured complainers. Personally, I believe that people are much more savvy and stronger than the ultra-sensitive types would have us assume. I hope that any possible employee for a news organisation (from intern all the way to owner) who reads this would remember that, and just as importantly that anyone who reads this realise that they are oftentimes smarter than the reports they are given. (Al Roker is on Court TV…think about it.)

Since I’ve been so serious in this post–and the keep up the quarterly “drool” factor–here is a link (with video) to a report CNN did with Hikaruland lust object Ken Hirai earlier this year.

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One comment

  1. Anonymous · November 8, 2007

    >i think a lot of the dumbing down of television and radio is done in the name of children. whenever there is discussion of issues that even remotely raise some aspect of profanity or sexuality, some jack@ss invariably ass “but what about the children?” in a plaintive tone. why do adults have to dumb down their remarks to other adults just so some lazy parents don’t have to (i) prevent their children from hearing those remarks, or even better (ii) educate their children to understand the adult remarks in a context that the parents would approve?

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