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May 17th, 2007

The Perfect News Show

TV news sucks. Cable news even more than network news. And local FOX news even more than cable news.

So I got to thinking… what annoys me most about news broadcasts and how would I change it to form a nightly news broadcast I’d actually watch? Well, I hate when entertainment news is presented alongside national news, I hate sensationalistic stories, and I hate technology stories because the reporters always sound like a great-grandfather explaining the Internet.

Here’s what I came up with for my perfect news show. This assumes a one hour broadcast with the standard 16 minutes of commercials. For a half-hour broadcast, just chop everything in half.

  • 13 minutes of international news.
  • 8 minutes of national news
  • 10 minutes of non-human interest story local news
  • 2 minutes for weather
  • 2 minutes of human interest stories
  • 2 minutes of “odd” news
  • 2 minutes of entertainment news
  • 5 minutes of local sports news (split evenly between pro, college, and high school sports)

In addition: ditch anything related to technology for technology’s sake (things like web site security breaches where credit card information is stolen would be acceptible) and no stupid exposes about things people already know about. And no Will Thomas.

Incidentally, international news is the largest chunk because it’s easy to forget that there’s a world outside of the US with its own issues. We should know about them. Most of this news would probably still deal with stuff that indirectly affects the US, but it would be nice to, I dunno, see things like Darfur mentioned periodically? On the flipside, I’d show more local news than national news since it more immediately affects the viewing audience.


Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

Greg May 17, 2007, 2:15 pm

What if the international news was the top local story from different cities/countries around the world? Right now, 97% of international news is the wars in the Middle East (is that capitalized?). What about a new national policy in Australia, or severe weather in Russia, business news from Japan, etc. Something to give us insight into the daily lives of people from different countries.

Take out the two minutes of entertainment news and put it into something else. Why should we give a crap if celebrities are breaking up, getting married, being arrested, or adopting children from the third world? The exact same things happen to thousands of people every day in this country. Why does it become news-worthy just because they’re in a movie or television program? But if you dedicate the segments to movies premiering that weekend, new television shows, local theater productions, I could watch that.

Ryan May 17, 2007, 2:17 pm

Exactly what I was thinking, Greg, at least for part of the international news segment.

Aanen May 17, 2007, 2:35 pm

That sounds pretty good. Get rid of entertainment and use the 2 minutes for something else.

Terry M. May 17, 2007, 11:54 pm

The only news on TV which I watch is local news. The rest I get on the internet. International news in this country sucks. Did you guys hear there was a big drug shootout leaving 22 dead in northern Mexico overnight? I read about it early this morning in a Mexican newspaper which I read daily, but it didn’t make it to CNN until mid-afternoon.

Merle May 18, 2007, 2:19 pm

Skip every single “live” report as well. Live reports are just a way for their staff to get in front of the camera, and to make the station feel good because they’re wasting money. About twenty minutes of every hour seems to go for live things, and it usually consists of about four sentences of useful information.

Aanen May 23, 2007, 12:56 pm

I _hate_ the weather reports in the winter around here. They way they hype it up makes me want to throw an axe through the tv. I always laugh when the SUVs and awd and 4wd vehicles get stuck!

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