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Good reporting is good business

Randy Price, a longtime anchor who recently parted ways with WHDH in Boston, gave a striking interview with Emily Rooney earlier this week in which he sharply rapped the status quo of local TV news.

The critique from Price: local TV focuses too much on inconsequential stuff (fender benders, minor fires, the weather, etc), rather than more relevant, and more significant stories. We can all recognize this, but that it came from an insider, on the record, was noteworthy.

The argument should be made that good reporting is good business. For a case in point, consider my friend Tim White's recent WPRI expose on problems in Providence's sewer department. It was public-interest reporting that happened to be entertaining and dramatic, and it certainly created a buzz.

Investigative Reporters and Editors make the same point:

Yes, all of us know that investigative journalism is especially critical these days to the country — in times of trillion-dollar bailouts, along with scams designed to prey upon folks who are struggling to make ends meet.

But whether you call it “investigative journalism” or “watchdog reporting,” news organizations across the country are saying that what we do is also important to the survival of their businesses.

In other words, it’s not just “good journalism” — it also may be “good business.”

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