Cable TV News and Sports Have Their Shortcomings
|ESPN was thoroughly annoying Saturday evening, Dec. 11, with its program on the Heisman presentation. Not until the 56th minute of the 60-minute show was the presentation to USC's Matt Leinart actually made, leaving virtually no time for any analysis, interviews, etc. It seemed all designed to keep the audience looking at the ads throughout to the exclusion of any considerations of news coverage. Like so much TV news, it was mostly hype and comparatively little revelation.|
This is one of the most serious shortcomings of cable television news, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, network news. They spend much of the programs saying that this and that is "next." Then, they go on to multiple other topics before "next" arrives and sometimes, when it does, it's an anticlimax.
Reading a newspaper, in this respect, has it all over television, since the reader can easily go immediately to what he or she is most interested in and read all about it.
Not to mention how much more detail is in the newspaper, and how many more topics there are.
It's amazing to me what does NOT get onto 24-hour cable news. CNN is particularly bad at confining itself to just a few topics. The decent newspapers come the next day with a much more complete report. Even a major story, like the attack this past week on the U.S Consulate in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, was much more comprehensively handled in the newspapers than the scanty "live" reports on cable tv.
The morning shows on both CNN and FOX are poorly organized, even of the top stories of the day. I'd exempt Soledad O'Brien to some extent from the criticism, since she is obviously very intelligent. By and large, however, the morning paper is much more illuminating than cable news, explaining why the papers aren't dead yet.
And even Time and Newsweek, coming a week later, don't suffer all that much from being a week late, since they can often put things in careful perspective.