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I'm seeking information on recent trends anyone may have noticed in your networks (Twitter, FB, G+) where people are complaining about TV news - especially national - lacking quality, facts, etc... No, this is not anything new, but I've noticed more backlash in my feeds against television as a reliable source this week than in the recent past. I'm trying to figure out if it's an aberration or a pattern.
Baratunde Thurston's profile photoSarah Granger's profile photoAnne Kittendorf's profile photoRobert Paul Przybylowicz Jr's profile photo
What has sparked the posts you're seeing? Is it mostly in response to the economic news or does it relate to other subjects?
most of the people I interact with have been complaining of the rise of infotainment for years. Personally, I stopped watching mainstream tv news a fews years ago, and get most of my information from any number of online sources, including AP and Reuters.

Within the past few days, especially since Deficit debacle, S&P downgrade, and the start of the London unrest I've seen even more activity.
Economic news, coverage of the debt ceiling battle in Congress, London riots
+Moses Wilson - I agree with you completely and I did the same for a while, but with my work I began watching more TV to keep a pulse on what's covered and how it's covered (and occasionally appearing as a guest to help educate the public). I'm glad it's not just me noticing this. Thanks.
Any thoughts on what exactly is irritating people the most? Sensationalism/hype? Lack of facts? Errors? Missing context? All of the above? Something else?
+Adina Levin If you have suggestions of anywhere in particular to look for stats, good search terms, etc., let me know. I'm working on an article about this.
As a student in 1972, I was involved in a study of media bias, so I've got a long, cynical history and a thick skin. But, I lost it this afternoon when I heard NPR reporting on the stock market like it was a high scoring basketball game, with minute by minute lead changes. Markets go up, markets go down, that's not news. And, if you care about it, you've got much better sources than the hourly NPR news.

One place to look: +Dan Gillmor who was on a tear a couple of days ago about the media calling the debt ceiling deal "compromise".
+Sarah Granger I think the final straw was the marriage of corporate America and independent journalism. I still remember vividly the fire Dan Rather came under for pushing the story on Bush's military records. And it wasn't the issue over how he pursued the matter that concerned me, but the fact that it was becoming more and more apparent that being a longstanding, genuine, journalist garnered less and less respect. He was treated no different than a blogger off the street.

The news companies don't exist to inform the public at any cost. Now they exist to support networks that have to sell commercial products so the parent companies can make a profit.
Economic/Debt news and the Middle East protests, as well as news about Israel. Those are the subjects that are usually being discussed when it comes up
Rupert Murdoch scandal dealt a blow also
I must say Anderson Cooper is almost universally applauded and cheered as a true reporter who will accept nothing less than the facts and truth.
+Daniel Harder I generally find that I have to make a concerted effort to piece together the 'complete' story by using a variety of news sources, since the art of fact checking has fallen by the wayside. For me, there is no longer any one specific journalist that I have enough confidence in to say, yes, that's the story.
The point I'd like to hammer home again and again is this: broadcast tv news was a declining business with bottom lines in freefall. You saw lots of articles like this all through 2009: After Citizens United, the lesson we learned is that undisclosed tv political ad money from the US Chamber of Commerce, Americans For Prosperity, and other such groups spending on the 2010 mid-term elections basically propped up those sagging tv bottom lines, whether it was local tv or national. Take a look:, first sentence: "Spot TV ad revenue soared 31.7 percent in third quarter to $4.1 billion on a 74.1 percent surge in automotive and a 688 percent increase in political..." Billionaires and corporations funding right-wing politics pad tv networks' bottom lines. Is it any wonder we have the gutless, slanted tv news we do?
Thanks all. Article's almost done. I'll probably post it at SFGate tomorrow.
+Cynthia Liu TV news was never meant to be a money making venture. The outgrowth of celebrity journalists can be traced back to the 50s. But even then they were true journalists and not 'faces'.

it is only after the marriage of industry and television networks that this became an issue for broadcasters. This predates 2009 and 2010 by quite a few years. But I do see the relevance of your point. However, the networks no longer make it a secret as to their motive to make as much money as possible, the source doesn't seem of particular concern to them.
+Moses Wilson, spouse worked at on the website that supported the broadcast tv shows from 2001-2007. He would regularly attend meetings in NY with the heads of networks' ad sales and VPs of the network and witnessed them rolling their eyes at what a "cost center" news was. There was regular discussion of selling or otherwise excising news from the rest of the network to improve the bottom line. Clearly, an attitude of contempt for the lack of profitability of news and derision for it as a "product." A far, far cry from the days when gentlemen-journalists at the Tiffany network or elsewhere took pride in delivering the news as a public good in exchange for using the airwaves that belong to the people.
While I think TV "news" is junk continues to get worse, I think part of it can be chalked up to August, which is always the worst month by a large margin.
I made comments along these lines in FB a few days ago. Mine was partly in response to the "article" about the Bin Laden raid that turned out to be more a work of fiction. I think most of my frustration with the media was really due to my frustration with politics and I voiced my frustration with the media as part of the larger issue.
+Sarah Granger I think most of it is vacationing, specifically NYC taking the month of August off. But it's the business cycle (don't release new product before Labor Day) and still mostly the education cycle. Politically, congress will always refuse to be in session in August in DC.

A good deal of "news" is not breaking news based on unforeseen circumstances, but stuff specifically timed to be on TV in the papers in a strategic way by smart people. Few of them want to move things in August, those who so are doing so because of the drought of content. The only guaranteed stories in August are forest fires and hurricanes.

That vacuum needs to get filled. And in August it's often filled by skeleton news staffs, because the first stringers are in the Hamptons.
My friends aren't that sophisticated to know there is a problem...
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