Thursday, August 28, 2008

Critical Thinking: Broadcast News Programming

10-Second Review: Questions to encourage critical thinking about News Programming.

Title: “Media Literacy: The Right to Know.” Herb Karl. English Journal (October 1974(, 7 -9). A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Quote: “About Broadcast News Programming—What is news? What is a report? What limitations does air time impose on news reporting? Do all the networks report the same news? Do all networks report the same event in the same manner? How do news and editorial policies vary among networks and stations? What is known about censorship of specific news items and programs? What are the effects of private subsidization (i.e., advertising) on network news and editorial policy? To what extent do the networks and local stations observe the equal time provision and the fairness doctrine?”

Comment: These questions are mostly about network news. I think the most depressing programming on TV is local news with its “If it bleeds, it leads” stories of rape, fires, car crashes, murders, shootings, etc. Once again, it all comes at us so quickly that one can’t take time to sort out the questions and apply them to the content. Could there be a simpler, broad question that gets to the heart of our concerns? I am appalled at the degree to which we are bombarded by news and advertising. I can’t take the time even to think about it. RayS.

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