Tuesday, March 03, 2009

American media finds its teeth at the wrong time


For years European journalists have felt that their American counterparts have given business and political leaders an easy ride. Since the meltdown in the financial markets, there has been a notable shift with today's NPR interview of the UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, by Steve Inskeep being a great example. Inskeep pushed Browne hard on a range of issues from the economy to Afghanistan. Interestingly Brown failed to answer almost all the questions. In short Browne came across badly. This is what the American public wants, right? Wrong it would seem. Yesterday on Marketplace (another program on NPR), show host Kai Ryssdal said they'd received many listener complaints that they were airing to much bad news. Put another way they'd been asking too many tough questions. I do understand the view that we don't want just bad news. But I'm pleased to see the American media finding its teeth. When the economy improves the American public will appreciate it.

21 comments:

josephk said...

American media may lack teeth but the bigger problem is its tedious, one dimensional nature, especially in the political realm. Polarized coverage reflective of just two orthodox views of the world may be safe for ratings but it doesn’t come close to enlightening a world dealing with complex problems. Many other views exist, whether radical or more nuanced, and for American media to perpetuate a donkeys vs. elephants political spectrum where little else exists is a disservice. So is media simply serving us what we want or deepening our already oversimplified perceptions? Either way, I’d like to see more media with not only teeth but the mettle to abandon a formula that most people are all too willing to consume.

Joseph Kingsbury, Text 100
www.twitter.com/jkingsbury

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