Television news no longer unique

Television news runs the risk of becoming stale, with newscasts either being too similar or stations trying too hard to stand out.

Part of the challenge in media is making the proprietor of the news stand out. Despite this, it’s all too easy for news broadcasters to follow a typical format that is associated with their craft and shared by competitors. In addition, due to TV syndication which allows networks to provide their affiliates with the same story coverage and so we are presented with “cookie cutting” reporting.

It’s not unreasonable to think that a major news story, such as the recent Manti Teo story, would be covered by various networks due to the strangeness and popularity, but then there are other cases where multiple stations cover the same story, and the identical form of reporting used by different broadcasts then is used for comedy.

Part of the issue is believed to be in the networks themselves when it comes to hiring and the decisions on what kind of stories should be invested in. Networks choose to hire more rookie writers and spend and money on investigative reporting. 

Broadcast news provides information to the public in a unique form, but how unique is it really in today’s world? Should networks forgo spending money more on investigative topics, or instead save money on easier reporting? Is this form of “cookie cutter” news decreasing the credibility and overall quality of broadcast news?

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2 Comments on “Television news no longer unique”

  1. Tiffany Ellington says:

    I do not think stations and papers should forgo investigative reporting just because it is the most expensive stories to produce. I understand cutting costs and saving money is important, especially in today’s society, but that is how we get these “cookie cutter” stories. It is the same story told the same way, just by a different talking head. I think that after a certain number of times hearing the same thing, it definitely loses credibility. Reporting is supposed to be informing the public of many different stories, not the same one over and over. I understand it happens, and it will continue to happen but broadcast stations should try and take a new stand or view on these “cookie cutter” stories.

  2. Taryn Winston says:

    In my opinion, I believe the real issue of “cookie cutter” news and reporting is not necessarily the lack of uniqueness and the similarity between different broadcasters and news outlets, but rather the lack of perspectives and viewpoints being presented. If all broadcasts and news stories are being told in a similar way, they are also most likely being presented from the same viewpoint (which is usually that of the reporter/station). Thus, this could result in more biased news stories which then decreases the medium’s overall credibility. In response to your other question, I would oppose the cutting back of investigative reporting simply because I believe that is the bread and butter of what journalists/broadcasters do. Basic news stories and fact reporting are essential, but investigative reporting is what makes news and what keeps officials/government accountable. Furthermore, I would advocate that each broadcast station invest as much (or even more) resources in investigating lesser known stories that directly impact their audiences; this way, different news sources would present different news stories that are equally as important and unique to them specifically.


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