29 November 2009

A "Big" Deal

Saturday a.m. we were watching the news -- it was CNN. They were just coming back from a commercial break and anchor T.J. Holmes looked seriously into the camera and intoned that, all night, they had been following "a big story that has everybody asking questions." What could that be, I wondered: A terrorist attack? The financial meltdown in Dubai? Perhaps a major plane crash? No, according to Holmes, the big story was that golfer Tiger Woods had been in a car accident -- and, it turns out, a fairly minor one, at that.

Okeh, having been in the business of news for over 30 years, I know there are slow news days, and that ratings are important, and commercial revenue is down. But, seriously, when is it a "big story" that someone -- anyone -- is in a minor car accident?

The phrase "big story" should be saved for something that is actually big: a hurricane, a senseless war where America's young are being slaughtered for cheap oil, health care reform.

But, a minor car accident? Involving a sports personality? Really?

Perhaps this is yet one more reason why Americans are turning away from network television news and getting their information via the internet -- where a story is judged "big" more by the audience than the news provider.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I so agree! I get CNN at work and several of my patients, as well as I, said the same thing: "this is a news story?" Then CNN continued to follow this "Big story" for the rest of the two succeeding days! Such a waste of time.