View Full Version : News Agenda Setting

05-09-2006, 09:50 PM
Does anyone find it at least slightly funny how just as soon as that "roads and bridges" campaign was over that all of the news coverage of Oklahoma's terrible roads and bridges suddenly stopped?

Does anyone find it interesting in the least how few 'standard' media outlets actually gave any serious coverage to Moshe Tal versus Kirk Humpheries or to the Bass Pro scandal?

I find it all very interesting. It's certainly not coincidence that the media in Oklahoma vigorously promotes the side of the stories that benefits big business the most, and you and the taxpayers the least. I'm not sure what drives it -- formal arrangements with lobbyist types? The lack of inquiry when handed a press release to be read on air? Laziness? Advertising revenue?

Looking back on the roads and bridges campaign, does anyone recall how news channels (particularly Channel 4) took video of pieces of concrete falling off of the I-40 crosstown? Have the pieces of concrete stopped falling? Or is it just that the press releases and the money have stopped flowing?

Journalists are too lazy these days. Half of the blame is due to them. The other half rests squarely on the shoulders of the producers and station managers for not inspiring their reporters to be inquisitive when handed press releases or responsible when framing the public agenda. Instead, when asked to jump, it seems that all too often, the response is "How high?"

Not surprising when it seems most Oklahomans are more interested in the latest gossip on the anchorwoman who reads the teleprompter to them than the actual issues that could affect their lives.

05-09-2006, 10:21 PM
Nice observation Midtowner, maybe they can send "Val" under the bridge and see if there is any "Golfball Size" concrete chuncks falling .
Stay tuned to OKCTalk...we'll keep you advised.

05-11-2006, 10:27 AM
I see your point, Midtowner, but I see it from a different angle.

Local news is, for the most part, an absolute joke. Has been for years. Why? Several years ago, the "consultants" took over and took actual news reporting out and put sensationalism in, and the product is hysteria-driven weather forecasts, junk-news features during sweeps, and giggle-snort Sam and Sally anchor clones on every station in the world.

The result? Investigative journalism goes down the tubes, because it doesn't generate interest, or viewers. So if there *is* a scandal out there, no one will pick up on it, because what passes for "journalism" today wouldn't pass for National Enquirer headlines two decades ago.


05-11-2006, 10:36 AM
SD: It's not so much that I think there's a conspiracy. It seems we are in agreement that the news media on the whole is simply lazy. From what I can tell, it's not difficult at all for an individual or a 'cause' to easily manipulate the news media. They aren't the least bit skeptical.

Some of those roads and bridges stories were really insulting to the people of Oklahoma -- they were so desperate to be taken seriously that they had to result to press releases by principles who were scared that a school bus was going to collapse a bridge.

05-11-2006, 04:27 PM
Piece of cake. About 20 years ago, some descendant of the weasel invented the Video News Release, which isn't actually news, but it plays it on TV; lately they've enjoyed an undeserved resurgence. (KOKH-TV, the ever-popular Fox station, seemed particularly attracted to them for some reason. I'm thinking it's less ideological than logistical: it fills up time, and hey, we have time to fill.)

05-11-2006, 10:31 PM
Excellent post about the consultant takeover of some decades ago, SoonerDave. I know that to be true.

In the mid-80's, I had sort of an epiphany about local tv news. It happened like this. I'm driving home from work at about ten minutes till 6pm. So I rush a bit to get home so I won't miss the lead story, whatever it might be. I make it home in time only to hear the lead story is 'how to protect your neighborhood from burglars'. That's no news story. They didn't even bother to interview someone robbed today. That 'story' could have been shot 3 weeks earlier, edited 1 week later, put on a shelf at the studio until today. Then, bingo! It is the lead story!

That was it. I simply quit watching the local news in favor of print media. There is no such thing as local television NEWS. Perhaps someday, when internet broadcasting will make us all producers for the cost of pocket change, there will be real news coverage again.

05-12-2006, 02:45 PM
Did anyone catch Channel 5's very wonderful and relevant special report:"How Dirty is Your Purse?" If you didn't, shame on you! Gosh, I'm so thankful to Channel 5 for covering this extremely serious issue. Why I think Channel 5 should win some sort of award for tackling this very newsworthy subject! And I for one am glad Channel 5 isn't wasting its resources on some stupid and unimportant topic like -- oh I don't know -- unsafe roads or government waste.

Local TV News. Another example of the dumbing down of American culture.