Friday, April 1, 2011

Great Marketers or Terrible Journalists?

I know I speak for many people when I say that I am very turned off by what I see on 24 hour cable news networks. It's understandable for anyone to be troubled by the specifics of war, the far reaching destruction of an oil spill, the human pain behind foreclosures and factory closings and the inexplicable tragedy nature sometimes deals us. However, people can accept the truth. The truly troubling part is how cable news chooses to report it.

Cable news is not designed to simply run down the day's top stories but rather design "programming" with a desired emotional response in mind. All the news is told from a specific point of view and packaged for people who share the same views. Therefore, the news is seen as being a single voice of a group wanting to be heard, instead of just being the "news." It seems so wrong for a business that was invented to report fact.

Or maybe cable news is really just well executed marketing in action? Cable News appears to share the same elements that marketers celebrate most; tell a story that appeals to and organizes a following and will trigger a response or action.

Perhaps the difference is in how each tells their story. Cable news channels work more like poorly executed marketing; to achieve results they must blur the lines between fact and fiction and confuse true perspective with a point of view.

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