Monday, February 20, 2006

Same Fruitcake, New Wrapping Paper

While I'm on this blogging burst here, let me add some thoughts on the new set for FOX13 news. Sure, it's pretty, flashy and matches the FOX News cable image. I like the nice, bold, jewel-toned colors. The television news bloggers in Memphis all seem to be crushing hard over it.

But so what? It's still the same old anchors, the same old banter, the same presentation style, the same way of reporting. The wrapping paper may be new, but the substance is unchanged.

So color me unimpressed. All the local news shows are variations of the same thing. Newschannel3 and Action News 5 are virtual carbon copies. They both bombard you with "Developing Story," "New Since Three Hours Ago," "Breaking Story That's Hours Old But We're Still on the Scene," "Story We're Still Milking Even With No New Developments," and "Live at the Scene Where Nothing's Happening Any More and It's Pitch Dark." Pow! Look! Hey! Here! Whoo! Wake up! It's like being constantly poked in the chest. After a while, you just back away.

Poor EyeWitnessNews24 is afflicted with low budgets and a very amateurishly applied consultant's presentation package. ("Props! Use props. Wave 'em around. Are you in a grocery store? Use the cash register! Make it ka-ching! And don't forget to keep moving. What did I teach you last time? Move, move! It's visual.") You get the sense there's a good hard-news organisation in there being smothered by bad ideas.

Calm, serious, intelligent, discriminating, content-focused. Give me that and I'll watch.

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