Wednesday, October 27, 2004

NBC's TODAY Show Goes Over The Cliff


My wife, a former television news reporter and current news media and public relations consultant, was so distressed by the TODAY show's coverage of the Qaqaa missing explosives matter that (a) fired off an e-mail to NBC and (2) resolved to start her own blog. More about the blog later. Here's the e-mail she sent to NBC this morning:

I hope you will pass this message on directly to Ms. Couric. We started in
news at the same time many years ago. I have been one of the most
dedicated and satisfied viewers of TODAY for some 30 years. I have always
admired Katie Couric's skills as a reporter.

I am now a news media consultant in Los Angeles, and I too have lost confidence in the news coverage of TODAY. This does not discount your great feature abilities, but as a source for news, which was the first priority of TODAY for decades, you seem to have lost your way.

A morning seldom goes by that I don't wonder why Couric and Matt Lauer no longer abide by the critical, and very basic, rules of journalism, and deliver only the who, what, where, why, and how. No editorials. No questions carefully phrased or skeptically delivered. No reflection of the interviewers own personal views. Those used to be the basic rules of integrity for any reporter.

All I feel I receive now are the questions of producers who want to "get" George Bush, or "get" Condi Rice, or "boost" Kerry, or "suggest" a conspiracy on this political subject or another.

Do you think that soccer moms, professionals, parents, and most genuine thinking people in the audience don't "get" that there is an agenda in your news coverage?

It's measureable, and it is embarrassing, and it fails the long, excellent reputation of the newspeople who preceded the staff of today's TODAY.

Suck it up. Be journalists. Cover the news, don't be the news. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned in Dan Rather's very public and personal embarrassment.

I don't want to turn off your show, but you know what? You are part of the establishment: The major news media, to whom we have always turned, and an establishment of which I have also been a part.

But the major news media is becoming irrelevant because your slips and your bias are constantly showing.

I start my own “blog” today, and so, it seems, is everyone else I know-- because the public can get its OWN news now, quicker, faster, with more detail, with more input, and with more objectivity, than NBC News.

And that’s a shame.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an avid reader of yours, I'm now anxiously awaiting your wife's blog. I was pleased as punch to read this. Post her url as soon as she goes up, please!

Posted by jae

Friday, October 29, 2004 3:01:00 PM  

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