April 26th, 2006
TV News "Is Purely a Question of What Sells"
By Gary Ruskin
Here’s a telling excerpt about how far television news has sunk, from a speech by Ted Koppel on April 20,
“What is different about the television news business these days is that itís driven by consultants, accountants and demographers. No longer do the television network news divisions show the American public what it ought to see; rather, they provide certain favored age groups with what the networks believe they want to see. It is purely a question of what sells.”
“That marks a critical change in our industry. The news divisions have gone from being loss leaders for their networks--a fig leaf for an otherwise hugely profitable enterprise--to becoming just another profit center within that enterprise. They havenít entirely, but theyíve almost surrendered even the pretense of civic responsibility.”