Carol Platt Liebau: More "Solution-oriented" News?

Monday, July 17, 2006

More "Solution-oriented" News?

Talking to TV critics in Pasadena on Sunday, Katie Couric reported on some of the results of "town meetings" she's been holding with television viewers across the country (the 2006 version of Hillary Clinton's "listening tour," presumably).

We heard from many people the news is just too depressing. Obviously, we can't sugar-coat what's going on, but there are cases where we can be more solution-oriented.

The last sentence, in particular, should catch everyone's eye -- because what it's actually doing is reshaping the mission of the news. I'm not interested in hearing CBS' "solutions" to national or world problems; that's what politicians, think tanks and advocacy groups are for. When I turn on the news, I want to learn what's going on. It may not be as glamorous (or as easy) as coming up with "solutions" -- which requires a lot less shoe leather and a lot more interviewing of those who share the anchor's political agenda -- but it's a valuable task, when done correctly. And it's not done well enough on the networks these days.

Likewise, it seems to me that when people characterize the news as too "depressing," they're not calling for CBS to morph into a policy shop. What they're saying, in effect, is this: Of course, we have to know if any American soldiers commit crimes in Iraq. But would it really kill you to do a story on some of the good our soldiers are doing, too -- something about the toy drives for children, the animal rescuing, the plastic surgery for innocent victims of violence that our soldiers have spearheaded? Something is wrong when Americans have to read People magazine to find some positive news from Iraq, where's there's plenty to tell, if any network were so inclined.

Rather than finding "solutions," CBS News would be better advised to try balancing the news, and telling some of the stories that, right now, are being shamefully overlooked.

11 Comments:

Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Carol, maybe you should forward your concerns to Brit Hume the next time he editorializes from the anchor's desk. Or is that different somehow?

11:13 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

yeah, that's a different topic, but of course meets with your MO to point off topic since you can't answer on topic.

The news is merely bad entertainment now. I rarely watch any...and that includes FoxNews. The last two times I turned on the O'Reilly Factor, I couldn't believe how low he's sunk in just having segment after segment that looked like MTV sex romps.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

As long as Katie keeps it perky and shows those legs, she'll do well.

Carol, if you want good stories, stop advocating war.

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. -Dwight D. Eisenhower

Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it. -Noam Chomsky

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny. -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. -Albert Einstein

5:35 PM  
Blogger amber said...

I am bummin, all I get is CBS here. I am too cheap to buy cable, not enough time anyways, but now I will get no news. I would rather watch Dan than Katie.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Amber, Sorry to hear that.
You might as well not have a TV at all, if that's all you get.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Carol, the Middle East is lurching toward a full-on regional war. And Iraq is sliding toward a level of destabilization that will make our first three years there feel like a picnic.

Despite all your WISHING the networks would show the good things going on in Iraq, the fact remains that the BIG story (or question) is where the country is headed. Yes, we have wonderful citizen soldiers doing great humanitarian things on a one-on-one basis with many of the Iraqis. They make me proud as an American.

But for you to continue to assert that the perception of what is going on in Iraq is one that has been "assiduously spread by the MSM" and not indicative of what is going on there is irresponsible.

Today at least 48 people were gunned down at a market in Mahmudiya (sp?) by Sunni gunmen. Yesterday, it was the Shiites turn; the day before that the Sunnis. Carol, this is the prelude to full-scale civil war, and contrary to what others around here claim, it is YOUR and THEIR heads that are stuck in the sand.

If you really do seek to be seen as someone with credibility and not simply a hack, you will at some point have to acknowledge some harsh truths and provide some "balance" to your own "coverage" of the landscape.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

The truth is it is extremely dangerous for journalists to go out in Iraq - something the right wingers sitting in their basements covered in cheetoes like to attribute to cowardice.

The following video says it all about why the righties are not getting their spoon-fed good stories to support Bush, their beloved leader.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ty2mI64ItM&mode=related&search=


A few days ago it was reported (not on MSM), that a young girl’s body was found in the streets. Sewn to her body, where her head had once been, was a dogs head. War is not good stories.

Bush refused to listen to his Generals and sent less than half the troops needed to secure Iraq.

12:18 AM  
Blogger amber said...

Cliff,
I didn't have one, but then my parents got bored when they were here and bought one for me. I live on a beautiful 20 acres on a lake, what could have made them bored? I do have an extensive movie library, though. At least I get CSI and that new show about profilers.

6:40 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Carol - Alas, it's not just CBS news.

My solution thus far has been to orient myself away from the sugar-coated evening news, and more outdoors with our kids where we can play. And where I can ride my bike.

Play with kids, slim down, ignore Couric, and buck the high gas prices, all in one swoop. Life can be good.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I thought "solution-oriented" news is what got the MSM in trouble to begin with.

Actually, I think most Americans don't mind a little editorializing in their news. Talk radio does it all the time and it's wildly popular.

I think what hurts MSM is that the goods they're trying to sell is so different from what America really is.

People get tired of being told the country the live in - and are so proud of - is a cancer upon the earth.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Ike didn't say he wouldn't go to war if he needed to, only that he hates it. No problem there.

Chomsky needs to go to the Mid East and tell the radical Islamists that. Our guys aren't terrorists, but Chomsky's a horse's ass. (sorry Carol)

A state of war is a way to rid the world of radical Islamists. Any domestic tyranny in this country resides in the minds of moonbats of the left.

It's thoughtfulness that results in respect for authority. Unthinking lefties are already scrambling the truth.

9:22 PM  

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