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Thursday, May 27, 2010

We encourage hatred and negative attacks


"It's easy to lose your temper on the Internet. Anyone who reads — or writes — comments on blogs and news sites knows that the conversation can quickly stray from civil discourse to scathing personal attacks. For years, many websites just let users go at it, and free speech reigned. But now editors are rethinking just how open their sites should be. Many people who want to participate in online discussions are quickly turned off by the nastiness."
"Researchers who study human behavior say it was predictable that it would turn out this way. Clifford Nass, a communications professor at Stanford University, says when you have an environment where thousands of people are vying for attention, people know intuitively that it's the nasty stuff that jumps out. Ironically and tragically, if you want people to respond to what you say, say something outrageously negative, says Nass."



End of Journalism? A New Age of Conflict over Balance

The New York Times reports that CNN may be considering the Larry King show after 25 years as the networks anchor program. King is 76, with a broadcast talk career of well over 50 years. His style is conversational not confrontational. He has interviewed kings and queens, politicians, celebrities of every sort, newsmakers and citizens on the street, treating them all equally and with respect.

Ratings and consultants say that we, the public, no longer want fair and balanced.

Ratings and consultants say we want younger abrasive, agressive and attack centered vultures, who can be a mean and ill hearted as the typical interent e-comment. In other words....

Ratings and consultants say we want younger, fast paced, opinionated hosts and arguments instead of discussions, trips and falls instead of facts and perspective.

CNN, with FOX to the right and MSNBC to the left, has seen its ratings in the US drop, while continuing to dominate internationally. The network is painted as liberal by conservatives and conservative by liberals. This centrist, and in truth journalistic balance, is not leading to ratings and a position that can attract advisers in today's marketplace.

We are voluntarily giving up balance, truth and civility in favor of tabloid sensationalism and emotional appeals.

Is the nation, and with it the news media, slipping toward the least common dominator, which is to say profit and bottom line over public service and democratic service?

My view is that journalism is a shadow of its former self, redefined as immediate and sensational over reasoned, researched and at least the image of being neutral.

Media Bias

Crawler and first words out of the Fox anchors mouth following a more than one hour long news conference from the President  of the United States: "Obama holds his first news conference in months", which is in communication terms starting with a negative. Later they amended that to say, correctly "first full news conference at the White Houses in three months", which they did not explain is quarterly, the normal standard for most presidents.

They did not start with the news, which is the content of the press conference, but with their usual negative spin. They also reported on a small negative barely taking up a few seconds of the conference and asked by a FOX reporter rather than the major news that took up 80% of the conference time, which was on the oil spill, secondary news, which concerned Afghanistan, or any other item touched on in the conference.

Where is the "fair and balanced" so promenant in the FOX logo and promotional material?

Heaven is Lucky to have you

In memory of a wonderful lady, Arizona 16 year president Lucky Hayes. She will be missed. Shown with Nevada SAG National Board Member Art Lynch and Nevada SAG Branch President Steve Dressler at the Regional Branch Division dinner in Atlanta last year.

See also Anne Lucky Hayes obituary

RIP Lucky Hayes


God Rest Ye Lucky Hayes

Fox wins ratings, or does it?


Fox won the all-important 18-49 demographic for the 2009-10 season that ended Thursday night, while CBS comes away with a nice consolation prize: the most total viewers.
It was the eighth consecutive ratings victory for Fox, which averaged a 3.6 rating. CBS, meanwhile, pulled in 11.7 million viewers per night.
CBS earns the right to promote itself as "the most watched network," but Fox holds the key marketing win in advertisers' eyes. Fox, by the way, also won the 12-17 teens demo for the tenth straight season.
In the 18-49 demo, Fox was first with a 3.6, followed by CBS with a 3.2 and ABC and NBC tied with a 2.7. In the 18-34 demo, Fox was first with a 3.2 and CBS, ABC and NBC all tied for second with a 2.2
So when did the ratings winner be the one to grab 18 to 49 and not overall ratings? Ask the brains who write off those under 18 and over 50.