Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 8:38 AM

CNN Boss Is What’s Wrong with Journalism Today

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

I never went to journalism school. But even I know enough about journalism to know that it is not giving people what they want. It’s giving them accurate and reliable information on events, issues, and trends to function as informed citizens.

In short, journalism is more about informing than entertaining the public.

0395a3f-1.cachedExcept that CNN chief Jeff Zucker begs to differ. For here’s how he defended his network’s month-long, 24/7 coverage of missing Flight MH 370, sounding more like the head of an entertainment than a news network.

The audience has spoken and said that what CNN did was correct. The most important thing we pay attention to is journalism and the audience. We feel really good about the journalism and the audience continues to be there.

(Huffington Post, May 10, 2014)

In other words, Zucker couldn’t care any less that CNN’s endless coverage of speculation about UFO’s (unidentified floating objects) made its audience no more informed about this missing flight on day 30 than it was on day 3. He clearly thinks that, if people are stupid enough to be interested in speculation presented as news, give them speculation presented as news.

What is really sad about Zucker’s ratings-driven journalism, however, is that all of his peers think the same way – albeit perhaps to a lesser degree:

My disdain for what passes for journalism these days is well documented. And 60 Minutes, the reputed standard bearer of broadcast journalism, only reinforced my disdain on Sunday when public outrage forced it to issue a pathetic apology for reporting one man’s delusions of grandeur as facts…

But my pet peeve these days is the malpractice inherent in TV journalists wasting hours every day with idle-minded speculation about the 2016 presidential election – a full three years before any such speculation could possibly have any news value or relevance. This malpractice is made brazenly hypocritical by the fact that these are the very same journalists who, just months ago, were presenting snarky, indignant reports about retailers promoting Christmas wares in August – a full three months before any such promotion would seem appropriate.

(“Journalism is Having a Very, Very Pathetic Moment,” The iPINIONS Journal, November 13, 2013)

So journalism is presenting what the masses want to see, not what is newsworthy to report. Which is why  Americans know more about what is going on with the Kardashians than the Ukrainians (who, by the way, are fighting a de facto civil war that could escalate into World War III).

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