Dear Media, you're doing it wrong

No one wants to say anything about your gradual trudge into subjectivity, but I can’t remain a bystander any longer. It’s time for an intervention. Unlike you we want to be brief, Media, so we’ve devised a short list of things you need to work on:

  • News-worthy: Let the internet do the adorable reporting. You need to report on significant shit, not just shootings, traffic, and new ways mundane things might kill us (although if it involves strawberries we’re interested).
  • Terrorism: Someone getting stabbed with a knife is not national news. Stop blowing up “terrorism” reports (ha). The more airtime you give to these nut-jobs, the more nut-jobs will get the same idea. You’re propagating terror by over-reporting it.
  • Pacing: Take a breather. The faster you deliver content now, the faster you’ll do so in the future, and the less we’ll actually retain. Ratings are piss-ants, so step on them and do your goddamn job.
  • Words: Please stop falling into political traps set by political saboteurs who want to dumb down the population. Political actors want to paint a word with a ton of assumption so that no one feels obliged to look into it. When you play into their hands by using their talking points and repeating their made-up terms, you’re legitimizing strategies that tear down meaningful discussion and push opposing views even further apart. Quit it.
  • Accents: We’ve noticed that you want everyone to have the same accent no matter where they are. Linguistic diversity is a beautiful thing and you’re making it uncool to have a different accent from the “standard” American English dialect. Please hire local anchors who reflect local linguistic flare.
  • Speaking: In the same vein, can you please diversify the way your anchors speak? They all sound like ego-pleasing machines without sense of their surroundings. We saw Broadcast News, OK? We get it. Looks and flash get ratings. Please stop giving us what we want, and give us what we need: real people speaking about real news.
  • 24/7 broadcast: Quit it. Constant news is redundant, and we feel that it gives us a false sense of urgency. People can go back to reading if they missed a broadcast.
  • Breaking News: Breaking news can only be broken once. Sometimes you break it all day long. Please stop flashing the breaking news animations, it’s going to give us a seizure.
  • Opinion: You’re news. Tell us what happened and then shut the hell up about it.

One thought on “Dear media, you’re doing it wrong

  1. This is brilliant. I wish everyone (including every news outlet) could read it. I have become so blinded and deaf to the news including breaking news, same-sounding anchors, and poor reporting that ends up being opinion. I totally sanction the idea of locals doing local reporting, legitimizing it. This was a great letter and great ideas-it needs to get out there! Well done.

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