Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Scary Has This Been For You?

Tim Goodman does yeoman's work and then some by taking the media to task for their incredibly poor (although not surprising as we know these guys are pretty bad) coverage of the multiple tragedies hitting Japan.  Why did I give up watching TV news a long time ago?  In part because of the inanity of the normal coverage of events, but also in part because of how they handle situations like this (as if there has ever been a situation like this).

Read Tim's assessment of the media.  He can be brutal:
As the nuclear reactor story began gaining attention, all focus was lost and the words “meltdown,” “catastrophe” and “radiation” were tossed around in such a way that it seemed news agencies were willing it all to happen, a rapacious hunger to plant the seeds of Armageddon in viewers’ heads, which of course would translate to ratings.
Brutal but on target.  Radiation means ratings, right?


Anonymous said...

Speaking of tv ratings, any picks for March Madness?

Steve Saideman said...

Nope. I am not a big fan of college sports (see previous entries), and do not follow college basketball at all. I think I would rather watch hockey.

PSmith said...

The way in which the media has been reporting this has been absolutely sensationalist. According to the WHO, the nuclear reactor meltdown doesn't pose a health risk outside of those within the 30km exclusion zone - it will not spread outside Japan. This is not going to be the next Chernobyl disaster.

The media is driven by violence and sensationalism and has latched on to this story, as you say, to get ratings. Its frustrating because this is a horrific story on its own merits without having to exaggerate, but the way it is now framed its as though we are watching and hoping for the worst.

This is a effect of having so many 24 hour news networks. There is always an attempt to build suspense in order to keep the viewer glued to their TV sets to watch whichever horrific tragedy is about to unfold. More professional journalists would help, but I think that the root issue is the existence of the 24 hour networks themselves and their insatiable need to have something with which to scare viewers.