Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Angry Journalists!

These days, the journalistic profession is undergoing some big time changes: shrinking viewership, shrinking readership, competition from the web, 100s of new tv channels on cable and dish, etc. As a result, in an effort to keep profit margins from shrinking at the same rate, journalists are expected to do more, much more, with and for less: time, salary, etc. One of the ways to cut costs is by cutting overly inflated salaries of anchors, reporters and news management. As a result, newroom staffs across the country are getting leaner, meaner and younger. More and more television and newspaper staffs are combining their news staffs to embrace the new media, while cutting overhead.

For some stations, the cuts have been deep and dramatic. CBS is swinging a sharp ax through the heart of it's stations.

But it's not just the big boys feeling the pinch. It's all over, and it's left some journalists very angry. Now it's nothing new for employees to complain about their working conditions. That goes for some at ABC, all the way down to Captain D's, but in this case it might be signaling a change in the business. In at least some cases, expect journalistic quality taking a backseat to journalistic quantity. In most cases, researching, writing and delivering a sound story takes some time. That's time which is not afforded as much in this high-tech and high-speed new world of delivering information, and 24-hour cable news channels.

With so many outlets, the thing that will set the best apart from the rest is credibility. Many already trust the information they get from some outlets more than others. Some outlets concentrate on telling readers what they want to hear instead of a more objective approach. It's a great marketing ploy which breeds customers who trust only those reports which are slanted toward their beliefs and political leanings, but in the long run, the loss of objectivity can lead to the loss of credibility.

Credibility is gained over a long period of time, by seasoned, experienced, professional reporters. It's a marathon, not a sprint. The tricky part is that credibility, just like a reputation, can be earned over years and years, but then lost in a relatively short period of time. Just ask some of the folks at The New York Times. That's why it's even more important these days for news reporters, meteorologist, sports reporters and more importantly, news managers to place a higher priority on "getting it right," than "getting it first," even though "getting it first" is still very important.

By the way, if you work at Captain D's and want to complain, try THIS SITE!

American Idol (Dolly Week): I LOVE Dolly Parton, although I wasn't so fond of some of the versions sung by the American Idol kids. I have to give credit to Dolly for having one of the better plastic surgeons around as she certainly looks nicer than some of the plastic surgery freaks out there these days. Perhaps one of the reasons is that she never really looked "natural" anyway! She's still one of my favorites though, especially "Jolene" and "To Daddy." Contestant wise, David Cook, the critter-club/bar band vet from Missouri is continuing to grow on me. I 'm still puzzled that 3 "retreads" remain: Carly, Michael and Kristy. Am I the only one who finds it odd that a foreigner could win AMERICAN Idol?

On the AI Sidebar:

The Report that Randy Jackson was intrigued with Carly Smithson in 1999 when he was with Artist Development at MCA Records, and Carly Smithson (Hennessy) was signed to....MCA Records. Has this connection played a part in her Idol success?

Is teenybopper-hearthrob David Archuleta's "stage dad" out of control?

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