Saturday, October 15, 2011

Here Comes "The Person"

I was watching CBS News last night and at one point after they introduced the new topic and a new on-location reporter, as he spoke the introductory line of the story I said to myself, "Here comes the person." I was right, after a single line telling us the story was about drug shortages, he immediately said, "Jane Doe has been taking freeblesmitz for six years, and her hospital ran out today."

Every story on the national news is done in the same manner. We are told that an entire nation is being subjected to some issue, and then the story is about one person. If nothing else, it is lazy, sloppy journalism revealing that news stories are written by hacks who have no imagination or depth, and who do not research to find out how the issue is affecting the society as a whole but settle for the pictorial satisfaction of how it affects one person.

Similarly, instead of wide sweeping camera camera shots which show us the scope of the devastation of a flooded city, we get arsty closeup shots of a bottle floating downstream and, of course, the anguished face of, "Ellen Smith has lived in her home for..."

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