Calexis

Have you noticed that the TV news, national and local, have upped their cutesy factor.  In the past, clever lines and snappy endings were reserved for us smart asses in the advertising or entertainment business.  But no more.  News has become entertainment.

Nearly every news story has to include a bad pun or some wry twist line at the end of the story.  I guess each “Deli Robbed” story would also have a rye twist in it.  Shades of “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar.”

To me, these tributes to advertising copywriters’ style undermine the seriousness of the news reports and lower everything to the level of the tabloid press.  The TV news reporters are trying so hard to be clever and funny that they often miss the impact of the story.

We used to look at network news for information – not for entertainment.  Somehow the Journalists, or their bosses upstairs, decided that journalism had to be wittier and more entertaining, less informative, more controversial to boost ratings.  And viewers responded in their fat and happy fashion by watching more entertaining news and less serious stuff.

ABC News in the US has led the way to frivolous reporting.  Now watching the News is more like watching YouTube than it is like watching Lloyd Robertson, Walter Cronkhite, or John Chancellor.  In fact, many newscasts are including Youtube or other social media hits in their reports as their witty, humourous ending to their newscast.

Cutesy and clever might be what gets the ratings, but it leaves us with a population being more interested in the superficial and short term. This same population is charged with being knowledgeable enough to decide the direction of its country.

One can often get more and better insights from the satirical news that has been provided by John Stewart or John Oliver than the networks.

The blend that news has with entertainment it also means more time spent on “entertainment news” and other frivolous or corporate serving items than with secondary stories of importance.  And even shallower news reports.  How can you take the news seriously when the reading heads are chuckling over their reporters attempts at clever.  Even the serious reports attempt to be clever in their tag lines.

How far will the cutesy go?  When the thug steals the bag from the old lady at the end of the line, watch for “blaggard steals luggage from laggard” or something like that.

Advertisers have always known that being clever and cute makes the ad more likable and memorable.  If the news gets even shallower, blame it on the success of advertising copywriters.

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