Don’t you just love the hints, plugs, hooks and teasers TV news anchors use to keep us tuned in during the commercials?
“More about the terrible events at the shopping mall right after this . . .
“Damaging winds are causing many injuries. We’ll keep you informed soon as we return . . .
“Flood watches and threats are abounding. We’ll tell you how soon they’ll affect you . . . next!
Of course somebody’s got to pay for the shocking reports on 5 and 6 o’clock news and the grisly national news that follows, so it’s important to keep us viewers alert, aroused and especially tuned in for their breadwinners—the commercials.
At all costs, TV news is structured to hold our attention for advertisers so we viewers can support news shows with our valuable eyeballs.
More about this in the next paragraphs . . .
No, I’m not against commercials. Far from it. I’d much rather watch them then pay myself for the news, especially as I was once a newspaper reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer and then a television network executive at ABC and NBC. So I know and appreciate the importance of advertisers, who pay the bills and make news coverage possible.
But I believe in fair and balance not only in the news but in how it’s presented.
NEWSCASTERS: give us the broad strokes of a story and then let us wade through commercials before you give more details.
Give us the meat up front, then after the commercials, the potatoes.
And weatherpersons, don’t tell me a hurricane is expected to hit and you’ll let me know where, when and how hard . . . right after the commercial.
Do advertisers really want a bunch of nervous nail bitters watching their messages? So let’s try to transition better these off and on ramps to the news highway.
Speaking of transitions, get my book from Amazon about Trump transitioning from wheeler dealer to governing: “Is there enough Brady in Trump to win the inSUPERable BOWL?”