Friday, November 12, 2010

"And such talk, as they say, is cheap."

From the "Bulls-Eye" Department:

Linked below is Ted Koppel's recent Washington Post Op-Ed piece in which the reigning heavyweight journalism champ delivers a pinpoint knockout blow regarding the Keith Olbermann situation and what it signifies for the big picture of cable and internet journalism.  In an inspiringly well-written analysis, Koppel cites The Radio Act of 1927 and points out that 60 Minutes was, ironically, the first TV news outlet to turn a notable profit: 

Olbermann, O'Reilly, and the Death of Real News

People are always telling me I should post more often.  I stumbled on the Koppel piece through a news industry daily e-mail from Media Bistro called TV NewserAlex Weprin's post introducing the piece aptly illustrates the one way in which profit-driven cable news competition contributes to the steadily degenerating state of contemporary news that Koppel didn't specifically touch on in his expert dissection.  An industry-induced, insatiable appetite for a constant stream of quick-hitting, abbreviated bits of news and incessant back-and-fourth punditry has initiated a self-perpetuating cycle marked by one thing: the need for speed and frequency; the constant race.  Obviously, it has long been the goal of competing news organizations to "scoop" each other, but in-depth coverage and analysis, such as Koppel's, have been lost in the shuffle of a hyper-accelerated, daily barrage of what essentially amount to headlines and the most superficial facts.  

Says Weprin, "Ted Koppel weighs in, somewhat belatedly (my italics), on the Keith Olbermann/political donation scandal..."  

Breaking News!
Constructing a piece as thorough, well thought out, and well written as Koppel's takes more than a couple of days!

I might even suggest that Koppel's piece is, in a word, brilliant.  For an equally insightful, but less Apocalyptic take on the Olbermann affair and how it relates to the current state of news coverage, see David Carr's New York Times piece, "Olbermann, Impartiality, and MSNBC."


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