The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Moonsigns  |  BandGuide  |  Blogs

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.”

  • jim taricani said:

    Randy is so right. There are some of us who have been beating the drum Randy is for quite some time.

    But just about all the television stations in this country are owned by corporate America, and those companies treat broadcast news as a commodity, rather than a public service.

    It's too bad, really, not so much for us slugs who keep trying to do good reporting, but for the public, who has come to think what they're seeing on television news is quality journalism. It is from time to time, and most who work in television newsrooms do their best.

    But when high-priced consultants tell station owners what supposedly is good for ratings, well, the rest is what you see every night. Crime, sex and of course those wonderful pet stories.

    Good luck to you Ian....Public radio just got a whole lot better.

    February 11, 2009 4:10 PM
  • Ian Donnis said:

    Thanks, Jim, and thanks to you for having also spoken out on this issue.

    February 11, 2009 5:19 PM

Leave a Comment

Login | Not a member yet? Click here to Join


Sunday, February 15, 2009  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2008 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group