As long as they can get away with it, ‘the News’ isn’t going to get any better

The new “news” is coming across a lot like the old news. Even, like the really old news.
There are far more things the same about the way the news is offered up today than anything new or different at the CBC News Network.
The entire experience is effectively the same as it’s always been, in style as well as substance.

Is the problem money, motivation or a simple lack of imagination?

You wouldn’t be blamed for not knowing that the clip below is from today’s Noon Hour news on CBC. It could just as easily be from 2008, 7, 6, 5 …
And the way it’s presented is almost decades old.
Exactly the same way it was done before what we’ve come to know as the digital age.
There is no live shot from the scene, an intersection located a 15 min. drive from one of the largest broadcasting facilities in the country – CBC Vancouver, with multiple and massive satellite dishes on and about the building.
Almost all of the footage of this fire is so generic in appearance that a still photograph would have captured the scene just as well.
The live reporter delivering the update begins by saying the fire is already out, and we can see that no current picture is available. But then, Vancouver is quite a long ways from Toronto, and Skype perhaps not as reliable as a cell phone that sounds authentically like a tin can on a long string running to Eastern Canada.
Wireless laptops with quality web cams and microphones, able to record witness reaction and Fire Marshall facts – that’s for fancy, big-city slicker reporters.
The CBC says ‘just send a cameraman, and slap up some video of flames and firemen on the screen. That’s all viewers need or deserve’.


It’s lazy, unimaginative news, done exactly the same way it has always been done, even as far back as the days of b & w television.
The opposite is not the hype news that characterizes City TV, but it is one that uses every new piece of technology and all electronic, digital  abilities to present news with immediacy and with evidence of an up-to-date mastery of today’s media tools and options.

9 AM in Vancouver, 12 PM in Toronto, as this report is given to the world.
A transmission between two of the most expensive communications hubs in a public news network.
Presented by today’s new, with-it, highly connected CBC News, saying, “this is the best we can do”.

UPDATE:

Picture 25

Vancouver Sun reader Angela Hubbard uploads photo of scene during daylight, showing how journalism can be done.

1 comment

  1. Rolloff deBunk
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It’s because they are not in the TV Biz. No matter how hard we try to convince assignments editors, producers, and other dispatchers of the value of visual storytelling, they don’t speak our language. We the field people simply go out and hose down an event. The clip you gather is from a suit or organizer – not the affected party anymore. So… no journalistic content and no visual storytelling. What does that sound like to you?


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