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The New Mediascape

JonKatz posted more than 14 years ago | from the the-generational-divide-gets-wide-online dept.

The Media 174

A few years ago, more than 90% of all American households halted work and play every evening to catch the evening news. Now, millions of younger Americans never watch a commercial TV newscast, and are turning to new forms of media, many generated on the Net. Cable and newspapers haven't been hit as hard as commercial TV yet, but the generational media divide is now measurable. The Net is redrawing the mediascape.

These kids devouring information online are re-working the mediascape in cyberspace, creating an enormous generational information divide. Although we often talk of technology in sweeping terms, when it comes to real-world changes, technology-driven changes are highly selective. They sweep away some forms of media like a tidal wave, and inexplicably leave others standing unchanged. In the case of commecial broadcast news, dying for years, the Net is polishing it off.

A new study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press documents two significant trends: Internet news is becoming ever more mainstream, yet growing numbers of Americans are losing the news habit altogether. Fewer people say they enjoy following the news regularly, at least as news is traditionally defined; more than half pay attention to national news only when something important is happening. More Americans than ever watch the news with remote control in hand, ready to flee stories they consider boring or irrelevant. This finding underscores the importance of that little wireless zapper, proving it to be one of the most political pieces of technology ever.

Regular viewership of network news has fallen from 38% to 30% in the past two years, while local news viewership declined from 64% to 56%. Yet fully one in three Americans go online for news at least once a week, compared to 20% two years ago. And 15% say they receive daily news reports from the Net, up 6%.

Among younger, better-educated American news consumers, the Internet's impact is even more dramatic. Many more college graduates under 50 hit the Net daily for news than regularly watch a nightly network newscast. In fact, the Pew survey finds that people who are interested in the news and go online tend to watch less TV news all the time (The rise of Net news and related formats have less impact on non-broadcast news, apparently. The Pew Center found little evidence that Net news significantly drives down regular use of cable news, daily newspapers or radio news.

It stands to reason, though, that as many of these traditional news media appear on the Net and Web themselves, their use among younger Americans is also likely to decline.

The survey underscores the impact of two powerful factors that drive Net news: interactivity and the rise of Open Media news outlets.

Younger Americans who've grown up using interactive technologies -- the zapper, Sega and Nintendo systems, cable channels, the Net -- are increasingly accustomed to tailoring their news consumption: they want information of particular interest to them, at the times they choose to receive it. They demand the right to alter the media they receive. Older Americans raised on passive, pre-interactive media -- papers, newsmagazines, TV news that offer few choices and little control -- are much more likely to stick with traditional news. Thus, the across-the-board aging audiences of TV, newspapers and many magazines.

The growth of Net news has had a stunning impact on the way Americans, particularly those with access to technology, get information on business and financial matters. According to the Pew study, for active investors -- those who have traded stocks within the past six months -- the Net has largely supplanted traditional media as the leading source for stock quotes and investment advice. Here, the power of Netizens to tailor their own media is enormous and profound. 58% of active traders told Pew pollsters that they have customized stock portfolios online.

This is a staggering statistic -- such portfolios didn't even exist a decade ago. Now they're one of the primary tools for a completely new kind of financial transaction -- e-trading. And a significant percentage of financial sites online also offer breaking news and commentary, reflecting and affecting the markets they deal in.

The generational divide concerning media has been speculated about for years, but it's now quite measurable: Fewer than one in three young adults (31%) say they enjoy keeping up with the news, while more than half (57%) of those age 50 and over say they do. Though younger consumers say they don't like the news as much, they say they do like having a wide variety of information sources from which to choose. Older Americans say they often feel overwhelmed by the increasingly crowded media landscape.

(Caveat: I think serious terminology problems arise when it comes to describing younger Americans' tastes in news. Just as many pollsters and journalists don't consider gaming a significant part of culture, entertainment and technology often aren't considered news. My own belief is that younger Americans, especially those on the Net, are actually information junkies, but the kinds of news they like and the form in which they receive it is very different from their parents' tastes and from the way news is defined by journalists and educators. The kids I encounter online devour enormous amounts of information on a daily basis. That makes sweeping descriptions of their information habits suspect.)

Commercial broadcast news has less function all the time; its looming demise should have been obvious for years. Cable, much more interactive, offers many more options, often in the informal, even satirical (you could watch the convention coverage of Comedy Central's "the "Daily Show" every night and learn much more about the political conventions than on any network), and flexible format that interactive news consumers expect and, increasingly, have grown up with. With news their primary offering, cable-news channels don't have to toss out expensive entertainment programming or advertising to present news. Cable news also pays less homage to outdated anchor formats that have suffocated traditional news presentation for years.

Open source, though a movement in software rather than media per se, has sparked much of the evolution of successful open media, because it introduced the idea of information sharing online. The Net, however, is spawning many new kinds of news media: Web logs, specialized sites like this one, information-sharing exchanges from Napster to Gnutella, messaging services relaying one-to-one news; wire service- like news providers like C-Net. Some are not considered "news" in the traditional sense. But they are very journalistic. They do offer news and information, not only daily but continuously, and about everything from finance to culture to quilting to pet care.

Since the dinosaur-like TV anchors ruled the media world a decade or so ago, the mediascape has become unrecognizable, a rapidly changing work-in-progress. The past decade demonstrates that nobody can predict the media future, only try to hang on and watch while it continues to evolve, and while younger news consumers construct a radically new kind of information system for the first time in centuries.

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Dear Jon ( I hope you'll pardon the intrusion): (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#830711)

1. What drugs do you take to generate the ideas for these articles? 2. Are you on the payroll of Thank you in advance. Looking forward to your response.

Thank you, Cpt. Obvious (1)

Urmane (2213) | more than 14 years ago | (#830714)

Thank you, Captain Obvious, for alerting me.

Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 14 years ago | (#830717)

the only thing that I would like to see better coverage of is local sports news. That was the only reason I ever watched local news anyway. The main headlines are on the newspaper's website (for free, not .50 or whatever it is now) but local sports still don't pop up too much attention on the web. Now that I am in college, great coverage of the campus sports is available online (including splits, bios, etc). Great wealth of information at any time. And we used to think that turning the dial would be instant information...

Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (1)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 14 years ago | (#830718)

I havent watched any tv shows for years. I think it was probably Babylon 5 or the first season of South Park that I watched. The TV isnt even hooked up to the cable anymore...I get my news from NPR and cnn online...

Katz Parser 1.0 (1)

wik (10258) | more than 14 years ago | (#830719)

Parse error on line 37:
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tend to watch less TV news all the time (The rise of Net news and related

Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 14 years ago | (#830721)

Don't forget This American Life [] , which includes perhaps the most low-key but oddly entrancing radio voice you'll ever hear, Ira Glass. It's not news, but it is good. If your station doesn't carry it, it's also available in RA.

News? What news? (1)

Belgand (14099) | more than 14 years ago | (#830722)

I think the greatest problem with traditional televised news is the inherent banality of it. When the OJ Simpson trials were going on it was always the first story on the news whether or not anything of importance had occurred that day or not. During the Clinton scandal you could bet that the president's sex life would be the top story of the evening irregardless of any breaking developments. Today the most reported news items are those that aren't really news. Princess Diana dies and it becomes the only story for the next two weeks when frankly the only newsworthy portion was that she had died and how. Local news is even worse. In my local market (kansas city) the evening news functions primarily to report on various crimes that occurred rather than deal with local politics or anything that might have a valid need to be reported. Wrap up the newscast with sports, weather, and some piece of "investigative journalism" and close with a fluffy human interest story and why would any person actually choose to watch this? Very little of it even qualifies as news and what little is news is often overhyped and sensationalized to stretch out the story. Newsmagazines in the US are all but unreadable choosing more often to focus on some minor social issue rather than world events and politics. The only readable newsmagazine is the excellent British publication the Economist which covers US news better than any domestic magazine. In short the problem with "conventional" news sources is the same problem with bad websites, too much flash and not enough valid content.

Television is far from dead (1)

Argyle (25623) | more than 14 years ago | (#830726)

The gutting of TV news is far different than the gutting of TV as a whole.

The news is an easily consumed bit of information that can be distributed by TV, radio, paper, and the web. Of course the recent addition of web available news has dropped TV news viewship.

Entertainment TV won't go so easily. For all the hype and bravado, internet streaming media still is horrible. Face it, even with broadband access, the picture is terrible and choices quite limited. Not to mention the social experience. TV watching is often a group function as opposed to computer usage which is a solitary pursuit.

In interactive TV circles, we refer to this as the sit back/ sit forward choice. Studies show that when using a computer, even for media, people sit forward and upright. Watching TV tends to make people recline and sit back in comfortable furniture. Watch someone use WebTV, when they surf or type, they sit up. When they channel surf and watch TV they lean back.

TV watchign and computer usage at this time are two completely different experiences. As net-saavy as I am, I still wouldn't consider watching where my computer is located. When I want to watch the Tom Green show, I head to the living room. When I want to play Unreal or Scour so prOn, I head to the computer.

Until computers/the net can be accepted as a sit back device, provide quality entertainment with a big picture, and has the same latency as DirecTV, the ttan of old media, television, will dominate home entertainment.

While many early technology adopters tend to watch dramatically less TV, their percentage is few. The rest of the country is still hooked on Millionaire, Survivor, and Wheel of Fortune. Until the net offers the equivalent, television will rule the mediascape.

OT: Fight the power. Don't talk about Survivor, it's a morally bankrupt show!

Re:It's just easier (1)

dunhamda (30466) | more than 14 years ago | (#830727)

For people who do like traditional video newscasts (as opposed to written news media), there are sites out there (such as Zatso [] ) that are combining these old media and new media ideas, allowing you to view "personalized newscasts" online.

Re:To bad too! (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 14 years ago | (#830729)

Commercial news sucks, its blatently biased, and reporters don't have a clue about facts (They leave a lot of important ones out). It is all emotions based reporting. Death and destruction. Important issues are touched on, but never properly analyzed. The net is a far better news resource, but you have to be able to do some sifting.

For example, Because of the news media (and movies too) many people actually believe that a nuclear power plant can blow up like an a-bomb. At least on the net you could put a link to how a nuclear power plant works in the story. This is no guarantee that someone will click on it, but better than blatently misleading information.

CNN == Clinton News Network
ABC == American Broadcasters for Clinton
CBS == Clinton Broadcasting System
NBC == National Broadcasters for Clinton

If Hillary wins the above four remain the same or just put Bush in where there ar B's (except for CNN it will always be the Clinton News Network).

Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (1)

AndyMan! (31066) | more than 14 years ago | (#830730)

Heh - I was watching my local fox station a few weeks ago - they're headline? "Fat fighting hoes - film at 11". Turned out to be a story about a new kind of womens underwear that thinned the thighs.

Fact is, local news in America sucks. Bigtime. Toronto has City-TV, which does an excellent newshour. Their ratings have actually gone up over the years, too. It's hip, informative, and they report on things that matter.

It's not that younger Americans don't want TV news, it's just that the networks, in the battle for the eyeballs have aimed for the lowest common denominator. While well educated adults might put up with it because there was nothing available, the younger generations know that there is so much better stuff out there by and for people who can actually THINK.

End of the sound bite. (1)

Claudius (32768) | more than 14 years ago | (#830731)

The traditional media outlets are perhaps most influential around election time, when candidates fight tooth and nail for a splash of positive coverage, "face time," and a 3-second sound bite on the nightly news. It would be intriguing if the "new media" indeed were to inject substance into how political elections are conducted. Like many, I am disenchanted with mainstream election coverage that resembles a horse race, with running "So-and-so is 4 points ahead in the polls today" updates in place of the more substantial "My stance on issue X is as follows: [Insert esssay here]." I'd much prefer the days of the Lincoln-Douglas debates over the pith-and-mud we have suffered in the recent past, and I honestly believe that the current "be everyone's friend" approach to political campaigning in the U.S. is the underlying cause for apathy and cynicism among the voting public. I look with guarded agathism to the new media to counteract this.

Nader [] has an interesting and provocative site; while I don't agree with everything he advocates (by a long shot), I do respect his taking a very public stance on contentious issues, and I wish more candidates would do the same.

Re:Most political piece of technology (1)

cornjones (33009) | more than 14 years ago | (#830732)

The point being, though, that the zapper really fundamentally changed the way we received information. I remember reading some time ago that the remote control was leading to the death of the hour long drama because at a seconds boredom the viewer switches away. these days there are very, very few programs that hold my attention through the entire program. especially when they go to commercial.
ok, that was a tangent. basically my point is that as the RC came into prevelance, people started taking more control over what they were viewing. when I used to watch the network news I would flip between three of them looking for interesting stories. Then I moved to two or three news channels. now the commercials all annoy me so it is online, where the ads (banners) don't interupt the information flow.
I do still catch the bbc world news when I can though. really quite a good program

Re:News (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 14 years ago | (#830733)

C-SPAN stands for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network. It's a completely ad-free network, with the bills footed by cable companies and perhaps some private underwriters. Its only business is government news, and it excels at that. Any station whose call-in shows have three phone numbers -- one for Democrats, one for Republicans, and one for Independents -- is on to something.

Some cable channels succeed because they do exactly one thing, and they do it much better than anyone else. Look at the Weather Channel: nothing but weather, all the time. And it's a commercial success. No sitcoms, no panel discussion shows, no killer robots [] necessary.

Re:You're not on your own. (1)

Tower (37395) | more than 14 years ago | (#830734)

Now that I'm gone from the NYC area...I kinda miss that... Here in MN, the news doesn't cover anything, and they do it slowly... not worth watching, really. Plus, I never get Yankees and (football) Giants updates ;-)


Re:Local News (1)

titus-g (38578) | more than 14 years ago | (#830735)

Hmm yeah that's something I find really disturbing about the whole article. It really isn't a balanced view, more a tirade against the Bad Bad Evil Dinosaur Old Smelly news on TV.

But never fear our one new true God The Internet will save us.

I like being able to sit down for an hour or so a day and catch up with what is happening, someday I think it would even be nice not to log on to the internet for a month or so, gosh I've heard some people don't even have net connections.

And is net news that less commercial and unbiased?

I admit that the world does need people like J.Katz to provide extreme viewpoints, and to be passionate about subjects such as he is, even if only because it makes more people aware, hopefully they can come to their own conclusions rather than just swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

God help you guys if he ever gets a job in politics :)

I suspect he was probably abused by a major media corporation as a kid meself.

Tip of the Day. (1)

titus-g (38578) | more than 14 years ago | (#830736)

I can generally get about half way through the articles. From there read a few of the posts for a break. Then go back and read paragraph by paragraph from the end.

Apropos enough I've got BBC news 24 playing in the background (well I often do), and they just had a report on online banking in the UK.

What they did was get an ex hacker|cracker (delete according to taste), he was able to compromise almost all the systems just by sending some users of the bank an email with a k/b sniffer trojan.

It says a lot about the skills of virus writers that no one has ever managed to do this on a large scale.

All that untapped user stupidity out there, I mean come on guys, you can do better!

Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | more than 14 years ago | (#830738)

Wow, I thought I was the only geek who listened to NPR! :) The anchors are a little medicated, but I enjoy the program format. It was a lifesaver when I used to drive 1.5 hours each way to work, and I still use my 30-minute commute as an excuse to catch up on world events. Local events are a little harder to be informed about...I try to at least glance at a newspaper every day, but I'm usually too busy.

The reason I like NPR so much is that they actually expand on some of the more important stories, rather than packing the show with 30-second clips (they do these too, but not too much.) NPR actually picks stories that are interesting and relevant, and occasionally has some very interesting guests on.

As far as the national news decline goes, all I can say is that there's a reason Cadillac dealers and incontinence supply makers are the primary advertisers. The news just isn't interesting to younger crowds. I get most of my news via Yahoo, NPR, Slashdot and I'm just too busy to sit there and watch an anchor read off what the network deems the news for that day. I think TV news will continue on for an older set, but I see more and more younger folks like me turning to online news sources.

This brings up a good point...with the commercialization of news sites, do you think the "bias-free" nature of web news is going away? After all, webmasters can choose to put up whatever they like. TV news, from what I've seen lately, has been soft on big companies (tobacco companies are a great example here.) We'll have to see what happens in the future, but lately it's been getting harder and harder to find information that isn't tainted by an advertiser. (Tech information, except for /. and a few others, is a good example. Which database is a major tech site going to push? Why, the one that pays the most for the endorsement, of course! :))

Statistics (1)

apirkle (40268) | more than 14 years ago | (#830739)

Regular viewership of network news has fallen from 38% to 30% in the past two years, while local news viewership declined from 64% to 56%. Yet fully one in three Americans go online for news at least once a week, compared to 20% two years ago. And 15% say they receive daily news reports from the Net, up 6%.

Hrm, this makes me want to spew out a few quotes:

43% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

There are lies, there are damn lies, and there are statistics.

You're not on your own. (1)

M-2 (41459) | more than 14 years ago | (#830740)

The local news in NYC is about the same. There's even one news show that shows WHEN they're going to have various stories.

Let's add in 'odd human interest stories' to that mix, though, just so the point that they have more than violence and money on the news gets through.

You know, stories like the lawn gnome that was stolen, pictures of it sent to the owner from all over the world, and then its arrival back where it started by limo. Amusing, but... this is NEWS? No, this is someone's prank.

And I think it's scary that Katz has a point. I DID learn more about the conventions from the Daily Show than I did from the actual coverage (most of which replaced my Nytol for sleep inducement).

It's worse... (1)

HMV (44906) | more than 14 years ago | (#830741)

Many get their news not from network or local newscasts or even the internet. They get it from places like Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition. Some of the attrition from network news is being acocunted for by online sources, but to a great extent, pop culture and the entertainment industry has replaced the news industry. Or worse...have those two merged and we're just now noticing?

The local news went out last night on the street (ala "Jaywalking") with two sets of four pictures. Four were of the two major pres/VP tickets, and four were of the last Survivors. Almost everyone identified the four Survivors. Some got Gore and Bush. Not one identified all four pres/VP candidates.

Re:Think integration (1)

GavK (58709) | more than 14 years ago | (#830746)

I don't even have a TV anymore. Just the computer (A beamer is on my shopping list).

Wireless keyboard and mouse are a lot easier than the 10 remote controls I used to have, and I can pick my medium without any real effort.

Picking up background to CNN by going to the web is a REAL boon. It makes your few minutes of news actually mean something...

The problem with the 'News' (1)

BobLenon (67838) | more than 14 years ago | (#830749)

I used to watch the news every evening a couple of years ago ... that was before i was into the Internet. That was like my Freshmen year of high school.

Today, I watch a little news on TV ... if it happens to be on... ok. But i Make no effort to watch it. Now, my primary source of news is Slashdot and word of mouth. If its that important I'll hear about it.


Simple, Its Filtering Mechanism. The news (this isn't jsut Commerical news, but papers and radio as well), has become 'bloated.' I live in upstate NY, and i looked at the front page of the morning paper last week. What did i see, a survey that Atlanta, georgia has the highest rate of births on the interstate... which went on to say they had no real numbers to back this up.

Is that news? If i tried to pass that off in a English class... god knows what kind of grade I'd get.

And this morning, the front page is coverd with news of Survivor (HYPE), Human embroy laws and A big pic of the NY State Fair. If you look at page 3, you will find out that ~140 people died in a plane crash in the Persian Gulf. ... Uhh ... what happend here... are plane crashes so common that they aren't front page news? Not even a mention? Or has our society just become that obsessed with quasi-entertaing shows?

As for broadcast news ... the Democratic covrage might as well have been the SuperBowl ... Matt there is talk'n with some Polictical experts 'Well if Gore wants to win .. blah blah...' Not to be apothetic towards politics ... i felt like it was the supper-bolw, with out the Good Commericals.

This kind of crap is why I'm sick of the News. Some of it is good. I think it is important to know what is happening localy and globally. What happens elsewhere has an ever increasing affect on what happens at home. But if there wasn't so much crap.

Well thats my report.

Excellent (Non-Internet) Source for News (1)

jonathansen (68749) | more than 14 years ago | (#830750)

For what I find to be the most intelligent, thorough, and generally interesting source of News, turn to your local NPR station [] on the radio. NPR is seldom, if ever, sensationalist, and it is always informative and educational.
This is certainly true on a national level, with programs such as All Things Considered in the evening, and Morning Edition. It has been true on a local level as well everywhere I have lived (Detroit, Grand Rapids, Philadelphia).


I don't have a tv. (1)

Fooknut (73366) | more than 14 years ago | (#830752)

I don't have a tv.

TV is really a bad thing for me because I sit in front of it. This sounds so simplistic, but to me, I have better things to do than sit down in front of a box and do nothing. I like TV too much, but it tends to make me inactive and it doesn't teach me anything.

I can think of a hundred better things to do with my time than TV, and the net is one of them. Sleep rates really high as well.

Media in general is bad. News is marketing hype and opinions. I can't believe what they say, and usually I don't care. I am happy being focused on my everyday life. My goal is to obey God, live well (succeed, be productive, promote general welfare), learn constantly, and give joy to others.


Best source of online news (1)

MemeRot (80975) | more than 14 years ago | (#830753)

I've found to be my favorite place to go. They just have links to ANY kind of news you might like, though I spend most of my time on sites like - read the news on a site like that for a month and then watch the evening news - it becomes so obvious that there is no real investigative journalism, that the traditional media is totally unwilling to cause any kind of ruckus or tell people how they're being abused by their government or corporations. Contrasting stories on the police actions at the big national conventions on alternet versus the evening news is just scary - even when the cops were beating and arresting journalists the evening tv news at most gives it two words.

Cursor has links to everything from the Pew Research that Katz mentions to Reuters to big newspapers, magazines, online news sites, something for everyone.

I hope this isn't suprising anyone. (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 14 years ago | (#830755)

Why should we watch television? Television is just redundant, commercialized, censored drivel. Sitcoms have all gone from "Seinfeld" knockoffs to "Friends" knockoffs to being a mishmash of the two. Dramas are all attempts to recreate the intenisty of "ER" or the quirkiness of the long ago canceled "Picket Fences."

The most intelligent shows are now those that parody the others, such as "Family Guy" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which are entirely hit-or-miss as there is quite a chance that the viewers may not have ever seen the other shows that are being made fun of, and have plots that are grounded in realities far separate from our own. "The Simpsons" could almost fit this deftinition as well, (Or at least last season could, it was going downhill for a while there.) were it not for the incredible writers who manage to successfully parody just about everything with plenty of outright jokes to round out the hilarity, and extra little inside gags here and there for the truly hardcore fans.

Nightly news cannot be trusted, as were learned from the coverage of this year's political party conventions, which treated protesters engaging in civil disobedience as horrible criminals because a few anarchists would taunt the police to incite violence that became all out police riots, ending in the gassing, beating, and jailing of hundreds of innocents while the media pimped the predetermined political nominees inside.

Cable has gone down the toilet, as superstations attempt to drag audiences away from the networks with similar content mostly based around endless reruns of popular shows and movies. Other channels have segregated themselves, breaking down into niches of related entertainment, but not offering similar competing channels (For example, we have ONE Sci-Fi channel on cable now, because they bought the rights to all the Sci-Fi that numerous other stations would show.). MTV and VH1 have all but abandoned music videos in favor of endlessly replaying their odd content that is best described as utter crap designed to attract attention away from the networks often far crappier crap.

This is why we go online. Everything one wants to see is online, from free books to goat snuff. I can get on top of the latest news about technology, listen to streaming music, and watch people bang sheep all at once, and sometimes even on the same website!

The net is taking entertainment to incredible heights, and the best part is that THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!

Re:I Can Identify John Katz's Posts By The Title (1)

MartyC (85307) | more than 14 years ago | (#830756)

> Is mediascape even a real word?

Unlikely, but it is better than "recognizance" which I saw in a Katz headline the other day. Or did someone repeal the word "recognition"? Guess I must have missed that post.

Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (1)

Ravagin (100668) | more than 14 years ago | (#830758)

I have to agree with you. NPR is amazing. I get the majority of news from it; the rest comes from the Post, or from Slashdot (like you said, tech news!).
Maybe it's because they arne't under a [heavy] commercial pressure, but NPR is some of the best non-print journalism I've ever encountered. I can listen to an hour of npr programming (atc, morning edition, the World, or even CBC's As It Happens), and me informed and entertained, and know that at some point I'll get up-to-date headlines.
Hmm. Do you listen to Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me? It's NPR's news quiz show... very funny, very informative.

news (1)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 14 years ago | (#830761)

I get all my news from /. and from The Onion [] .

news (1)

GreenGhost (126676) | more than 14 years ago | (#830769)

He's got a point on this one. I read my local paper everyday, but the only useful data I ever get are comics (another medium increasingly being replaced by the online version-go sluggy!). I occasionally read the times, but why pay the sixty five cents when I could get it online for free (and with a search engine)? And I can't even remember the last time I watched the local TV news.

Re:What we want is information, not ads or hype. (1)

Kailden (129168) | more than 14 years ago | (#830770)

Yeah that bias thing really gets to me. That's why I read slashdot! -K.

Think integration (1)

bildstorm (129924) | more than 14 years ago | (#830771)

Oh, I would agree that flicking to the TV news is easier, but I avoid local news like the plague. I usually catch a half-hour or so of BBC News or CNN, but as I am working on setting up my system, it will soon be just as easy to sit down and turn on my web news as well.

With my computer and TV hooked together (since I don't want another DVD drive unnecessarily) and wireless keyboard and mouse, hey, I can just pull up my personalised sites. I can already grab small streaming video pieces off BBC. Why not take a personalised site with the video piece I want and serve them up. Then I'm watching something (not just reading) but I don't have to sit through talking heads unnecessarily.

I like integrated systems of information. It makes my life easy (even better when I get DSL and have 'always-on' capability).

The new mediascape??? (1)

non (130182) | more than 14 years ago | (#830772)

personally i spell it 'Sony'. oh, i mispelled it, its actually 'Sony + PCTV'

I just don't have time... (1)

MrDalliard (130400) | more than 14 years ago | (#830773)

Nice to see no mention of Mr Jefferson for a week. :-) Personally, whilst I'm a Brit, I think some of the same rules apply. I check out BBC News [] a couple times per day (usually whilst at work) and I get the headlines sent to my mobile phone (costs nothing). In short, this means I really don't have any need to watch TV news. Most news is several hours old by then, why would I bother ? The headlines are what's important - I'm not fussed in details. In contrast, I have to say that the BBC's television news coverage is really good (in contrast to what's been said here about the US coverage), and if I had time to sit down and watch, I would. It's near an hour of uninterrupted (read:advert free) news, which I do like. To be honest, I don't even watch TV much any more (maybe 1 hr a week). I've got more fun things to do. M.

Re:People Are Impatient and Content to be Ignorant (1)

MrDalliard (130400) | more than 14 years ago | (#830774)

I guess before we have an educated "populice", we need an educated populace... eh ? :-)

Perhaps we should educate them first on the merits of spell checkers.....


Re:To bad too! (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 14 years ago | (#830776)

Then turn on any channel affiliated with Fox or Murdoch's News Corporation, and you can get the liberal bashing. Find it on AM radio too. Difference between the Today Show and the Fox News channel is the Today show doesn't try to portray itself as a serious news source.

Re:Not just the subject matter (1)

Renstar (142001) | more than 14 years ago | (#830777)

I dunno about anyone here, but I dun get my news from anywhere but the Onion. [] I think it is really important to read about land mark Supreme Court decisions that no one else cares to report about...did the NYT bother to mention that they rules 8-1 that Americans are unfit to seems not....

Ok, now that that is out, Katz seems to have written a good one this time. I find it for the most part true. I used to watch the news all the time when I was 10-14. I did it for the crave of information. Now that is what the Net is for, I get so much information each day I am happy. People wonder how I know all that I know. Also, to agree with a post way above, dun remember what it is, I watch the History Channel ALL the time. That stuff is so interesting and it is usually in a very easy to follow format, that you can pick up on 30 minutes into a show.

Local News (1)

Grasshopper (153602) | more than 14 years ago | (#830781)

These "new forms of media" indeed give people a better chance to open their eyes and learn more about the world around them, but there will always be a place for local news on television and in newspapers.

Along the same lines, there will always be a place for books, even with more and more information just a click away.

Things are changing, but I think some things will never change.

Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 14 years ago | (#830782)

FOX is the worst at this. Their headlines for almost an entire week was "killer automatic doors" and "if your car falls into the river, what do you do?".

You mean WFXT was stopped running stories about "Ally McBeal" and "Boston Public?" Hmm, and there was that big piece on the X-Men movie, for no particular reason... I can't wait to learn more about the new FOX shows and FOX movies on FOX news!

Try listening to WBZ 1030 - they do fairly good news coverage too. Plus the "vague news" ad is hilareous. ("A very important event effecting a large number of people occured at a certain time today. In traffic, a large number of cars are moving very slowly on a certain road. In buisness, a number of people are making a lot of money. In sports, half the teams won, the other half lost." Then they start actually pitching WBZ, but the ad is pretty funny.)

Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (1)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 14 years ago | (#830783)

I have to agree... I was an NPR junkie *before* I got my cable modem, and now that I can listen to just about any archived show in the last five years or so, I have no reason to turn the glass teat on anymore.

With the possible exception of BattleBots and Farscape, but that's a different issue entirely.

Headline News is little more than predigested pablum designed to plug Ted Turner's other assets anyways... I say stick with professional, independent media.

A couple of great streaming NPR news sites that definitely fall within that category:

NPR Online [] Hourly news updates.
Living On Earth [] (environmental news)
WHYY Online [] Philadelphia's NPR station... has Fresh Air, which is a great interview program.

Bless RealAudio.

net media, tv media, radio media, etc ... (1)

Naum (166466) | more than 14 years ago | (#830786)

it hasn't been that long since internet sources could serve as a primary source of news ... since about 1996 i reckon since prior to that i won't count reuters headlines spammed across newsgroups or [choke], or prodigy headlines on a low-res graphics screen back in the early 90s ...

anyway, i just got a recent realization on the impact of net news and my news source impact - i drove to lake tahoe recently and left the laptop, cell phone, pager, etc ... behind ... stayed a week in a little cabin and the only media contact i had was a [gasp] am radio tuned to one of the local talk stations - abc news headlines, limbaugh, liddy, dean edell, clark howard, bruce williams, jim bohannon ... what a landscape of frequency wasteland!

well, i never watch tv much anymore, though there is a radio show or two i will tune in while i am hacking away at code during a normal work week, so most of my news is received from net sources like /. or wired or newspapers online etc ... consequently, the contrast was alarming ...

  • no coverage of net issues on traditional media - the DeCss case decision went down without a mention - i found out about it 2 days later in a passing reference by Clark Howard in a rant against Napster, though he did think the "free speech" assault in the DeCSs case was alarming ... otherwise, the only net references are corporate shills hawking some paid for advertisement for a site for consumers to flock to ...
  • no in-depth coverage - yeah i know radio headlines are not meant for in-depth coverage but even programs like the jim bohannon show (which used to be the larry king show - for you younger /. patrons ... before he became the CNN prime time mantlepiece ...) consisted of very shallow coverage on the conventions ... his show basically is a a marketing ad for authors and an extended PR sound bite(s) for politicians ...
  • extreme "right wing" bias - i don't buy any of this crap about a "liberal" bias in the press ... granted, most reporters may lean to the left (but that simply follows voter demographics on annual income - if you examine the big cheese network mouthpieces - i.e. Donaldson, Walters, Brokaw etc ... most of them are right-leaning ...), publishers and station owners are *not* ... just look at the composition of a normal day on am talk radio - liddy, dr laura, rush limbaugh - no wonder facism has a stronghold on the heartland of america ... voices critical of corporate interests rarely last long, even if they enjoy popular support ...
  • the funniest moments were actually listening to limbaugh (now, mind you, i didn't spend my vacation listening to radio but driving around, touring the countryside and just kicking it in the cabin in the morning and later in the evening ...) ... when he blamed president clinton for the wildfires burning in the western usa ... not a clinton fan myself but it is hilarious to still hear him blaming the democrats for all of the evil in the world today ...
  • i fear that the news consumer is in a far worse predicament than even in the 70s - i remember when the ny times had over 1200 reporters working for them all over the world ... now even their news service(s) are reduced to regurgitating some official line spit out from a spineless beauracrat ...
it doesn't take a spine to walk upright around here - some arizona legislator

What about TiVo? (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 14 years ago | (#830791)

I think this doesn't stop at news, but TV as a whole. Most of the younger generations would rather play a good game of <insert your favorite first-person-shooter here>, than watch a movie on TV. Its all about interaction.
But what about TiVo? Ever since I got my TiVo, I've been watching TV a lot more. With the convience of seeing your shows whenever you want, and fast-forwarding and pausing features, I think TiVo may make a bit of a change in the TV->Internet revolution... But I think that its inevitable that the Internet will completely take over TV in time. TiVo may slow it down if it becomes more popular... but its inevitable...

-- "Almost everyone is an idiot. If you think I'm exaggerating, then you're one of them."

90% ? (1)

B-B (169492) | more than 14 years ago | (#830792)


Where do you get the stat for 90% of households sitting down and watching the eve news? Also, what does "a few" years ago mean?

If you mean the 60-70's, I should remind you that it was only in 1988-89 that 90% of homes even HAD a tv. If you mean the 90's, I am afraid CNN (where cable had penetrated +50% of homes by the time of the Gulf War) was already eating into the share of abc, nbs, cbs nightly news.

Also, Alot of people work nights. Many students are in class at that hour. There have always been commuters on the road at 6:00pm.

In short, I DO NOT trust that stat at all, and would like to know where you got it.


People Are Impatient and Content to be Ignorant (1)

LaNMaN2000 (173615) | more than 14 years ago | (#830795)

With a generation that has a large percentage diagnosed with hyperactivity and ADD, it is not surprising that fewer people are willing to sit down to read a newspaper or watch a half hour news program. At the same time, however, the Internet allows people to search for the limited amount of news that interests them, from sources they trust, in real time. Sites like Marketwatch, /., Wired and other specialty news sites are popping up in droves as people seek out news that is targetted to their interests.

If we had an educated populice, this trend would lead to citizens being more proactive citizens of the world, or at least of the limited "world" that they seek. Instead, it merely allows the narrow-minded to avoid looking at *important* national and international news, while focusing on the private lives of celebrities. Remember, entertainment sites are always the top traffic draws after generic portals and advertising networks.

There is no way to force people out of their ignorance, but I think that people's increasing apathy and blissful ignorance is the greatest threat to American democracy.

Uh, Beavis? (1)

faqBastard (174444) | more than 14 years ago | (#830796)

My own belief is that younger Americans, especially those on the Net, are actually information junkies, but the kinds of news they like and the form in which they receive it is very different from their parents' tastes and from the way news is defined by journalists and educators. The kids I encounter online devour enormous amounts of information on a daily basis. That makes sweeping descriptions of their information habits suspect.)

Does this strike anyone else as a weird paaragraph? In the style of Katz: "Kids do this. Geeks do this. This is the way they act. Therefore, you can classify them, b/c they're too individual."

um . . . ?

Re:To bad too! (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 14 years ago | (#830798)

ABC == American Broadcasters for Clinton
...just put Bush in where there ar B's

The American Bush Corporation?

Yea, baby! Yea!

(I have now reached my quota of really bad puns for the month.)

Re:Watered-down news (1)

^_^x (178540) | more than 14 years ago | (#830800)

Absolutely. Not only that, but news programs on TV seldom cover what I'm interested in.

Also, the sanitization is (I hesitate to use this word, but...) offensive. I find it really insulting to my intelligence. They should either report a story in it's entirety, or stay away from it.

I've seen pictures from genocides taking place in Africa. I didn't enjoy seeing them, but just one picture said more than the hundreds of news stories that were showing stock-footage of peaceful villages, and making sure everything was politically correct. How can one expect people to grow up properly adjusted when they don't even have a clue what's going on all around them? []

Re:The Reason * I * Quit Watching the News (1)

talesout (179672) | more than 14 years ago | (#830801)

You are definitely not alone in that feeling.

I quite watching the news because it's depressing as hell. They do everything they can to capture every negative story that's available, but never, never, ever do they try to put out an uplifting story. If you watch the news every day you start to get the idea that every person in the world is a child-molesting, murdering, theiving, fire-starting, piece of garbage and that we would all be better off dead.

About two months after I stopped watching regular TV news, and started getting my news online (about subjects I actually enjoy no less!), I was a lot happier with the 'human condition'. We are definitely a product of our environment. Until we wake up out of the commercialized coma that the networks want us in, we won't realize that we have a choice of what our environment is.

Damn, that sounded a little pompous didn't it;-).

New Media Will Not Save Us. (1)

Alarmist (180744) | more than 14 years ago | (#830802)

Let us not forget that this new media source is by no means universal yet. Sure, it's important and influential, but remember that not everyone is there yet, and it will take some time before we are.

Internet media is not so much interactive as it is the expansion of choice: I can go to fifty different pages for news about a particular set of events, or I can watch one of the three regular networks for news. (Aside: broadcast news is still important because it is more widespread than most other media outlets. How many people don't have a TV?)

As a result of this, depth of coverage becomes an issue. I can go to fifty different pages, but if forty nine of them are repeating one, then I haven't gained much. Online news is growing, and it is important, but it is not prime time yet. All too often, people who work in the online news biz just copy their stories from the latest AP or Reuters wire.

Weblogs? Sure, weblogs allow interactivity and discussion of an issue, but as we've all seen here before, it also allows a lot of noise and a fair amount of uninformed balderdash. The maxim, "don't believe everything you read" is just as true today as it was twenty years ago. All too often, the community spawned by a weblog will become political in nature, in so far as there is an understood party line, and those who deviate from it are ignored or castigated (see Slashdot for a good example of this).

Technology will not save us. More media will not save us. The ability to think critically, though, is priceless, and it is an ability that has atrophied in much of the United States' populace. Why? Why think when you can have your opinions handed to you. It is easier for us, worn out from another 80 hour week and poor diet, to become vegetables before the unblinking eye of the television or the computer.


Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (1)

automatic_jack (181074) | more than 14 years ago | (#830803)

My personal favorite of the Fox hard hitting journalism stories was, "Cranes are crashing down all over the Bay State!" Every day I walk to work on Congress street past lots of Big Dig construction, and cower in fear of the 500' tall cranes that could fall on me at any moment.

News like this appeals to unintelligent people who live in perpetual fear of the world they live in and rely on TV news to tell them what the latest and most horrible things happening in the world are. The best part is always the fact that these stories offer no hope of things ever getting better. "Stay tuned for continuous updates about how the world is falling apart all around you."

I've found that newspapers are still the best place to turn for real news with the least amount of bias. News on the internet tends to be poorly written and reported, in the interest of breaking the story as soon as is humanly possible after it happens. I'd rather get the whole story 24 hours later than stay glued to my CRT watching the updates come in. "Concorde crashes!" "Concorde crashes with mostly German passengers!" "Concorde crashes with 100 German passengers!" "Concorde goes down in flames! Click here for pictures!" "Concorde goes down in flames, killing many Germans! Click here for RealVideo!"

Watered-down news (1)

Tomcow2000 (189275) | more than 14 years ago | (#830805)

I'm fairly young, but a few years ago, I realized that almost everything on TV news is "sanitized for your pleasure". There is truly no local news station that deosn't devote at least half its time to "How to garden better" or "midday call-in". This is why I moved to net news. On the web, you can choose exactly what story you want to hear about, from exactly the source you want, without all the audience-pleasing crap.

Re:What about TiVo? (1)

stinkydog (191778) | more than 14 years ago | (#830806)

TiVo is an 'internet' style product. Content is selectivly downloaded based on user requirments. The next step for a TiVo sytle product is to set up a central server (or heaven forbid a peer to peer solution)

By mitigating the time factor, TiVo has turned the fixed bandwith television medium into an almost unlimited content pool. The ability to set up TiVo "sites" by purchasing less desirable airtime and broadcasting specificly targeted shows is comparable to the web.

In my opinion TV and the 'Web' will merge into a single sources with the TiVo as a vision of the future.

Re:The Reason * I * Quit Watching the News (1)

eam (192101) | more than 14 years ago | (#830807)

You forgot weather.

Re:Yup, old media is becoming useless =) (1)

infofreako (194212) | more than 14 years ago | (#830808)

With regard to your magazines comment; I can remember purchasing the first issue of Wired and thinking FINALLY. A magazine I related to for many years. Then, within the last few years as my Internet usage grew, I noticed exactly what you're referring to. I found myself thinking "well that's old news" or "Christ I knew about this months ago". Today, the Industry Standard has replaced Wired as my bathroom literature (its weekly). While I still read Wired on occasion, I no longer expect them to surprise me... and they haven't.

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 14 years ago | (#830809)

I stopped watching TV news a long time before I got on the internet. In fact, I don't know that I ever watched TV news. We had these things called newspapers. Very functional. Still, I got most of my news from the Opinion section, for the mere fact that it was more fun to read those articles/letters than the rest of the paper-- and the bias was openly declared.

However, I have to disagree with reading the paper on the bus. So far, the easiest thing to read on the bus that I've found is a Palm Pilot with Avant Go. I got a lot more news (more variety plus the Onion) on that each day with a lot more convenience than my current option of the NY Times paper version-- which is mostly useful for the crossword puzzle. A paper is simply unwieldy on a crowded bus--especially compared with a little calculator.

This doesn't really change the source of my news. It's still the same old media people, just using a new distribution method that is fundamentally similar to the old method. I don't have a problem with this, except when those traditional sources start to believe hoaxes distributed on Slashdot about potato-powered servers and beer as a supercoolant.

What about foreign news? (1)

kaleidoscopegirl (199161) | more than 14 years ago | (#830812)

I live in Canada. Most of our small news networks, at least in Ontario (the new VR, OnTV...) are entertainment driven and so heavily influenced by opinions that they're a joke to watch.

But we have the CBC, a commercial tv station, and programs like The National are true good quality reporting. Not to mention CBC radio.
And what about the BBC? What about other foreign news stations?

America is not the total end of the world... just becuase it lacks a singular national news network doesn't mean other countries do, and just because most of the reporting isn't reporting at all but sensationalism doesn't mean other countries follow it's model. It's a wide wide world...

Katz yet again states the blatently obvious.. (1)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 14 years ago | (#830814)

People will always entertainment.. before television there was radio. People will always go for the newest thing to keep themselves entertained.. Thanks for the scientific breakthrough, Dr Katz, PhD...

One thing missing from journalism today (1)

Tomin8tor (207798) | more than 14 years ago | (#830816)

... is research and verification. I don't mean every journalist fails in his responsability, but the time-to-market framework of modern media has put such a premium on speed that errors are frequent. Consequently, traditional media like TV and newspapers, that used to be havens of safe reliable data...aren't. And retractions or corrections? Rarely seen and often on the back page or as a footnote. Damage done. New media like /. offers us fast up to the minute data from a variety of sources (doesn't require one small group of people to come up with it or decide what matters - well, not entirely anyway..) and then it offers lots of criticism/correction/validation so as to give you confidence or alternate perspectives. If anything, given the speed people want things at, I'm quite sure this format of media is as likely (or moreso) to give you good valid information as the traditional media formats.

My personal slogan (1)

Chaos Monkey (213268) | more than 14 years ago | (#830817)

I have very little interest in TV. My roommates and myself have been living together without cable, satellite, or even using bunny ears for over a year now. When people ask me why, I always tell 'em:

"Simple. TV has more crap on it than the internet!"

Katz is right again (1)

DunkPonch (215121) | more than 14 years ago | (#830819)

While we may think of ourselves as engineers, programmers, or simply "techies", the day is fast coming when we will be "producers" in the television/radio sense of the term.

Convergence is coming. Soon, the home user won't view the computer as separate from the TV and DVD player. While we may consider ourselves members of the computer industry, the truth is that computers are a subset of the media industry.

Like it or not, we are really part of "the media". The differences between ourselves and the people studying radio/television production and engineering at the local community college are really not that great.

Already, I see resumes that more closely resemble portfolios. If you are a GUI or web designer, you should have a collection of screen shots of your work. This communicates more to a potential employer than a simple list of places you've worked.

The paradigm is shifting in front of our eyes. Get ready.

The Opinion Oligopoly (1)

Shut Up (216353) | more than 14 years ago | (#830820)

I always hated politics because television's presentation of it was so stupid. Web sites like [] changed my attitude. Consider this little rant [] by Ralph Nader that criticizes the boring political views of pundits who are pigeonholed into "liberal" and "conservative" categories by their superiors.

Real news... (1)

danfromdesborough (218504) | more than 14 years ago | (#830821)

I for one am tired of watching todays over sanitised news.

When a war breaks out people should see the slaughter - the true effects of a bomb on a populated area - the grief and mayhem caused by mass death and destruction.

When a murder is commited the grusome reality of it should be shown.

Failing to hammer home the effects of these events deadens peoples reactions to them, creates appathy, and thus, perpetuates the situation.
How often do news providers, in any format, decided not to carry a picture (usual obtained through great risk to the reporters and photographer/cameraman) claiming protection of public senseabilities? To often in my view.

Most internet news providers seem to be governed by the same politically correct (read politically manipulated) values as TV. The news delivery format may have chaneged but the bland and censured content remains the same.

Perhaps there's now room for a truely honest and un-tampered with news service through the reletively un-controlled content the web can offer?

Re:There's no news on The News (1)

danfromdesborough (218504) | more than 14 years ago | (#830822)

Not forgetting Nasty Nick Bateman!

-UK joke.

Re:News (1)

Maudib (223520) | more than 14 years ago | (#830823)

To hell with CNN, its all about cspan. Cspan seems to lack all sense when it comes to how to market anything, which generally makes their programming excellent. Actually, I dont think they have any advertisers or even anchor people its just live footage. No wonder I like it so much. Anyway, if people really want an alternative news source which isnt influence by commercialism, check out A16.

How I get my news (1)

CaveBot (225909) | more than 14 years ago | (#830824)

Katz gets it totally right and totally wrong with this point

... they want information of particular interest to them, at the times they choose to receive it. They demand the right to alter the media they receive. Older Americans raised on passive, pre-interactive media -- papers, newsmagazines, TV news that offer few choices and little control -- are much more likely to stick with traditional news.

The problem with TV news is that someone else chooses what I get to see and when I get to see it. Papers and magazines let me choose what I want as long as it is at least x amount of time after the event (6 hours for papers, 36 for magazines.) But the internet lets me choose what I want, when I want it and is current, frequently more current than anything else. The TV news frequently doesn't have anything from the last 2 hours in it. The breaking news on the 11 o'clock news happened around 8 o;clock.

I do not consider papers and magazines "pre-interactive." While you cann't alter them, they are very interactive. You can choose what stories to read and how much of them you want to read. They just have a time delay.

I read the paper for news, magazines for analysis, and use the internet for breaking news. Of course I use /. for thing that would never make it into the other three.

It's just easier (2)

linuxci (3530) | more than 14 years ago | (#830828)

It's so much easier when in work to look up the news on the computer rather than watch the news. With online news you also have to watch what they think your interested in where online you can skip what doesn't interest you or explore the subject deeper by looking at related sites. When you're at work there's often no chance to see the TV but when you work with computers then the internet is there for you.

I think out of all the old media methods or bringing the news the radio is the best one as it's so easy to carry on whatever you're doing (driving, working, etc) while still being able to listen.

Pull his string, watch him go . . . (2)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 14 years ago | (#830832)

Is it just me, or is Katz saying the same thing over and over again?

I need to update my article on Jon Katz [] to that effect . . . "seems to exhibit a fixation toward certain topics, such as how the 'new media' is destined to kill off the 'old media.' Likes to coin new words like 'mediascape'."

Re:Push vs. pull media (2)

Griff (17764) | more than 14 years ago | (#830833)

Me too!

I live in the UK, and can only comment on the news programmes I have seen here. What I say may or may not be relevant in the US.

I hate the local news here. Why should I care that someone had twins today? Or that a new shop opened in some village I'm not likely to ever visit? It might be news (or maybe not), but to me it is simply not interesting. This holds for both newspapers and TV - 10% interesting news and 90% filler.

National news is at least more interesting, but it is mostly 'spin-doctored' so much that it is difficult to extract actual facts from it. Lots of political posturing from someone, someone elses opinion on something else, lots of war, famine and disease. These are not my favourite things to here about.

The net is different - I can find the things that interest me, take as long as I want over it, get the news virtually as it happens (sometimes) and easily skip the spin, hype and garbage. There is a load of crap on the net, but I simply choose not to look at that. Given the limited number of channels I get I find it much harder to do that with TV.

abroad (2)

jilles (20976) | more than 14 years ago | (#830835)

I'm dutch but live in Sweden. I have a fast network connection in my room and I can watch some local channels on the tv. Since I don't speak swedish very well I use the tv exclusively to watch english spoken movies & david letterman (cheesy talk show but great before sleeping).

All the rest I do through internet. I get tech news, local news and international news through internet. I've become a news junky and I doubt TV could ever satisfy my craving for news. When I'm in the Netherlands I find the news shows boring, long and dumbed down. The same news is repeated over and over. If a plane crashes, you'll hear about it for weeks (which is why I hate plane crashes, hurricanes and other disasters). I like the diversity and speed of news on the internet. I like extracting the important news from a few headlines and then quickly getting to the in depth stuff that matters quickly. I like being able to skip the less interesting stuff.

Re:You're not on your own. (2)

generic-man (33649) | more than 14 years ago | (#830837)

There were as many as three local news shows in the NY area that did this. Channel 2 when they did their blitz-like "More news in less time!" format would cover every story in 30 seconds or less. They would be talking incredibly fast -- and I say this as a New Yorker -- to get out all the news, and then provide a listing of all the stories coming up, scheduled right down to the minute. Hilarious. Channels 9 (close enough to NY) and 11 still do a "ticker" format on their 10 o'clock news.

Why would anyone need this information? "Come on, honey! There's an important story about our kids and Pokémon coming up at 10:42 PM! And then we can't miss Sal's sports at 10:44 PM! This is so exciting!"

Re:What we want is information, not ads or hype. (2)

titus-g (38578) | more than 14 years ago | (#830838)

Which strangely is pretty much the reason I avoid online news sites.

Then again I have BBC & ITN news 24 hours a day, both fairly unbiased (not perfect of course, but what news source on or off line is) and at least one of which is completely ad free.

I don't know any online news site that has the resources of the BBC to investigate news stories, or have 'programs' such as Correspondent or Hardtalk.

The only news I really use the net for is specialist stuff, things like tech or environmental, as that is something by it's nature it excels at. Or to get more info on stories seen on TV.

Newspapers (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 14 years ago | (#830839)

Seen several posts stating that they don't read the local paper because it contains news that isn't interesting to them. That is, of course, why they should read it! Sure, the board of educations ramblings may not be important now, but what about when you have kids and they start school? Many issues that seem unimportant now become very important later. Remember that the Watergate story started out in the local section of the Washington Post. Would you want to read about a third rate burglary attempt? No? What about high-level political corruption?

Katz misses another point, too (2)

xtal (49134) | more than 14 years ago | (#830840)

There's another reason that the (traditional)media is dying on the internet, and that's because of the cheap global communications between people that know each other (or at least have some sake in each other's wellbeing). This enables you to spend more time on things that matter more for you - for instance, some relatives getting married, or what your brother is doing in college, etc - rather than watch the latest l33tness about the president getting caught with his interns (especially when you don't even HAVE a president, and have to watch that junk!).

Another point is that if something really interests me, you don't need washed and polished versions from the news outlets. You can go online and get the wire text almost immediately, or you can go one better and read or in some cases even talk to people that are actually there as stuff is going down.

The traditional 6 o'clock news worked to inform a populace about what's going on in a world they had little or no means of communication with - up until recently, even phone calls (for the uninitiated ;) to europe were extremely/stupid expensive. That's all been changed by the internet. Now that everyone is more or less connected (or everyone that cares to be connected enough such that they'd impact news ratings) the need for traditional media has decined, and given what I see when I watch the american news here anyhow, (Heh, fox rochester), it won't be missed.

Most political piece of technology (2)

meadowsp (54223) | more than 14 years ago | (#830842)

"This finding underscores the importance of that little wireless zapper, proving it to be one of the most political pieces of technology ever."

Hmm, let me think of some others.... crossbows, guns, cars, ships, nuclear weapons.

Somehow these seem to have had more political clout than a TV zapper.

Not just the subject matter (2)

The Queen (56621) | more than 14 years ago | (#830843)

- it's the WAY it's presented that puts me off. Like the old Don Henley tune, "she can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye" - the smiling, powdered, white-bread looking anchors fumbling through their scripts. Sickening. PBS does a better job, but even then sometimes they go off on tangents. /. is good for techie news, Suck [] is good for satire, and NPR is my morning fix. Local news is shallow, ratings-driven, pancake makeup crap.

The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk

Re:Why I don't watch TV news anymore (2)

phutureboy (70690) | more than 14 years ago | (#830845)

Man, I hear you. I like NPR, but sometimes it is just too damn classical music listenin', literature appreciatin', minutiae dwellin', corn farmer in Iowa interviewin', monotone talkin' whitebread boring for me to listen to.

What I need is an NPR with a blunted hip-hop/acid jazz soundtrack, and street sensibilities to match. Like, Ice-T interviewing Kevin Mitnick or something.

Maybe I should just cut down on the coffee.


Newsheads love Intelligence Reports (2)

walnut (78312) | more than 14 years ago | (#830847) [] provides a unique news platform. They are not traditional media newstypes - rather a former intelligence consulting firm providing world news with comentary as to what affects this has to the surrounding governments, our government and etc...

Rather than provide you with the same story of tradgedy the Kursk incident was, they discuss the effect that loosing the sub will have [] on all future Russian Naval operations.

Quite literally, this is at least a different apporach to the news if nothing else...

Re:Push vs. pull media (2)

Mike Connell (81274) | more than 14 years ago | (#830848)


This isn't meant as a flame, but who strapped you to a chair in front of the TV with your eyes wired open (a la Clockwork Orange)?

You *can* go elsewhere with 'push' media. You are *not* a 'captive audience'. Change the channel, or better - Turn Off The TV!

Do you really think there is actually any differnce between the two types? You don't think you're getting spoonfed from websites? You are, you just have more choice over what flavour you want...

ps) I apologise in advance if you *are* strapped into a chair etc. ;)

Yup, old media is becoming useless =) (2)

technomancerX (86975) | more than 14 years ago | (#830850)

Well, I don't remember the last time I watched news on TV... I can hit the net and get updated coverage of pretty much anything, at any time... The one exception is the daily newspaper, as there isn't as much info about local news online

I've also noticed that I care less and less about the magazines I subscribe to as time goes on... some of the developer mags (Java Developers Journal comes to mind) have content that's worth reading, but even Linux Journal feels dated when I get the new issue in the mail... the articles are usually good, but anything covering 'news' (ie new releases of software etc. etc.) I already knew about weeks before getting the magazine... this is an inherent limitation of magazine format print media...

And for the record I'm 28 so what demographic does that put me in in this study, Jon?


Push vs. pull media (2)

Gurlia (110988) | more than 14 years ago | (#830855)

Interesting point about the migration from passive (push) media to more selective (pull) media. I've always had a disdain for push media, feeling that I'm being spoonfed with what somebody else thinks is "good". I prefer pull media like most of the Net[1] because if it's no good, you can choose to go elsewhere. This means if a media company wants to succeed, they'll have to compete based on their merit than on what is basically a captive audience.

[1] I say "almost" because there are some pretty sad efforts on the Net (Web, in particular) that are blatant attempts to make it into a push media.


The Reason * I * Quit Watching the News (2)

xianzombie (123633) | more than 14 years ago | (#830857)

Has nothing to do with the advance of "The Internet Revolution" The reason I gave up on "Commercial News" is simply because its commercial.

I can summerize it very simply:

War, Death, Crime, Violence, Politics, Stocks, Endorcments, War, Death, Crime, Disease, Money....(reapeat till end of broadcast).

Anyone else see my point or am I on my own on this one?

Define "news" (2)

StoryMan (130421) | more than 14 years ago | (#830858)

Understand that one thing that's happening is that "news" is losing the meaning it once had.

I can remember sitting down with my dad every night at 5:30pm and watching Walter Cronkite. "And that's the way it is," Cronkite would say at the end of each broadcast. And for millions of viewers, that's the way it was -- that's the way Vietnam was reported, Watergate, you name it. Cronkite's was the voice of the "news".

"News" was what happened during the day and what was wrapped at 5:30pm or 6pm or whenever folks got their Cronkite fix.

I'm not particularly nostalgic for those days. I mean, I was very young at the time -- maybe 4,5, 6 years old -- but I have vivid memories of Cronkite's Vietnam reporting, as well as the Watergate hearings. To me -- up until 10 or 11 years ago -- news was what these guys -- rarely women -- reported at the end of each day. I'm not nostalgic because I realize (or *think* I realize) that that sort of "news" was very, very sanitized and manipulated. (And, yes, today's "news" is just as manipulative -- but it's also more widespread and pervasive. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing -- just something I've noticed.)

I still get momentary flashes of memory when I hear Cronkite's voice -- I remember him talking about Tet and the Viet Cong and the body counts and all that sort of stuff. For a young kid it was very powerful.

"News" today loses much of its power thanks to the immediacy with which it is delivered. There was something mysterious about Cronkite -- the fact that, well, stories were wrapped up at a specific time each day. Sure, there was Paul Harvey on the AM radio -- "And now ... the REST of the story!" -- but his was always a mix of vaccum cleaner commercials mixed with news that never seemed as important as what Cronkite was reporting. It was as though Cronkite functioned as the "validator" for the news. If he reported it, it was, indeed, news and, by extension, important. (It was for this reason, of course, that he was -- and possible is -- "the most trusted man in America").

Today we don't have those kinds of validators. Sure, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw try to pass themselves off as cultural critics. "Hey, we're more than just talking heads -- we've got a critical slant on American culture, too."

But they don't have the same "truck" that Cronkite had.

So "news" doesn't carry the sort of baggage that it once had. It isn't just something that happens at the end of each day. It isn't just endless talk about Tet and My Lai and Nixon and Cambodia. Now it's constantly shifting, ephemeral, hard to pin down. What's news now might not be news a minute from now -- and it might not even be news, period, thanks to corporate spin and government manipulation. You never know. And you can't know, because there's no one (for good or bad) like Cronkite to validate it.

Really, I'm serious: I'm not nostalgic for that sort of thing. I'm not sure it's in the best interests of American culture these days to have a force like Cronkite validating the cultural awareness of ourselves. We need what we now have: the mercurial nature of truth, the shifting alliances, the layers of deception.

Everything is gray now. There's no John Wayne to scout out the bad guys, wipe 'em out, and explain why we should appreciate what we have. That sort of thing is funny now -- it's trite, too simplistic.

This complexity is reflected, no doubt, in the way we view ourselves through "news" media. It's no wonder that "news" junkies are on their way out. Who has time to keep up?

Yeah, but... (2)

der_saeufer (139759) | more than 14 years ago | (#830860)

It's so much easier (even for a geek like myself) to sit down with that beer on my couch and catch channel 9 news than it is to type stuff on my computer to see the news. I think TV news will be here for a long time, internet news is much less convenient once you get home and it's 10pm (or 11, whichever) and you want the day's news. A newspaper is going to be around a long time too; it's easy to read on the train/bus/whatever on the way to work, here in Denver, it only costs a quarter (thanks to 15 years of newspaper wars), and when you're done, you can use it to pack that vase you're sending Aunt Marge for her birthday so the USPS doesn't break it into 3000 pieces.

The international dilema (2)

Docrates (148350) | more than 14 years ago | (#830862)

Let me tell you a story about life in Latin America.

I live in Panama, and I used to watch the local news back in the days when i was even more clueless. I also watched CNN a lot (the only half decent international news media we got here) Then the net came along (96 for me) and the whole thing changed. I now get 90% of my news from,, Slashdot and some very specialized web sites like [] and spaceref. It's hard to get good local news when you live in these parts of the world, and most good international news sites are US based and they don't hide it, so you end up feeling like you're part of the US in some strange way, yet you aren't. I don't know how relevant this is, or how will it all end, but i can tell you that many many people, in many parts of the world, feel the same way.

just my $0.02

independent media centers (2)

amphgobb (148975) | more than 14 years ago | (#830863)

I think the emerging independent media centers [] present a real threat to the commercials disguised as corporate media.

During the conventions, CNN could barely come up with one or two boring comments a day about nothing, or just re-hashing press releases. The real news was on the IMC for LA, which showed audio, video and text of the convention as it was happening. When the police started a riot in a subway station, CNN still has not reported on this. IMC had reports online within 3-4 hours. When the police were firing rubber bullets at everyone, IMC readers knew almost immediately. CNN readers had to wait until sometime the next day.

Whoever still thinks that CNN or ABCNEWS or whatever has any kind of use in our society besides another commercial/advertising venue is gullible at best.

Meanwhile, execs at commercial media outlets should understand that their days are numbered. They can join the record industry execs on the welfare rolls (which will coincide with a decrease of the welfare-recipient-bashing stories in the commercial media) because with cool, internet alternatives, corporate media just cannot compete.

Why I quit watching the news... (2)

Cannonball (168099) | more than 14 years ago | (#830865)

I quit watching the news because I was tired of the same guy spouting the same damn story day after day after day. I'm also tired of the technology-ignorant media. Half the time they talk on technology they're wrong. The other half, they're not entirely right. It sickens me how much time people waste watching the semi-accurate, corporate bought news. I go to the internet for the news now, why? Because I choose what I see. I go to sites that are accurate and I ignore sites that are bunk. It's a lot easier when I decide what is seen rather than some faceless content director.

There's no news on The News (2)

Golias (176380) | more than 14 years ago | (#830868)

Let's look at the stories which dominated the press over the last few years:

A teenage tramp shoots her sleazy lover's wife in the face.
A crazy woman cuts her bully boyfriend's penis off.
An olympic hopeful asks a thug to injure one of her rivals.
A football player stabs his wife and her lover to death.
A White House aide shoots himself.
The LA police beat the living crap out of some guy.
Two nut-job suburban kids went on a shooting spree.
The President gets a hummer when he was talking on the phone.

To put is simply, who gives a rats ass about any of this stuff?

National news broadcasts were cutting into perfectly good Deep Space Nine re-runs to give me updates on "the O.J. Trial". Dammit! People kill their cheating ex-spouses every day in this sad world, but when a Heisman Trophy winner does it, it somehow warrents 24/7 coverage for a freakin' year!?

The Clinton administration has been facing accusations of electoral fraud, lying under oath, sexual harrassment, massive security leaks, taking bribes from foreign powers, cover-ups and "lost" files, gathering FBI data based on an Enemies List, using IRS audits as a weapon for revenge (4 of the 5 "jane doe" women have been audited in the last two years), and even crooked land deals... some may be true, some may not, but it is certainly worth looking into. Instead, we get months of talk about the President's indescretions with a chubby young intern with a cigar fetish. I don't care who that stupid cracker is fooling around with! Good for him; he's gettin' some! Find out that he's selling secrets to the Chinese, or that he knew the asprin factory he bombed in the Sudan wasn't a terrorist camp, then maybe you have a story. Otherwise, don't bother me with sensationalistic crap.

I don't watch "the news" anymore because they report on a lot of stuff that doesn't matter, and hardly ever cover stuff that does.

TV News is stupid (2)

Ketzer (207882) | more than 14 years ago | (#830870)

I realize I'm proably preaching to the choir here, (an ironic phrase, since many choirboys aren't particularly devout, they just sing well) but I think TV is a HORRIBLE medium for news. News should be a collection of facts about what has happened. TV picks out a few of these facts and presents them to us in two ways: having them spoken by newspeople, and showing them via videocameras.

The first is utterly wasteful of bandwidth, since you could just read the text of what these people say or listen to it via radio. But instead you're looking at them, so TV stations often select their newspeople based on who is nice to look at, instead of who understands what they're saying and conveys meaning well with their voice.

The second is useful, because it's harder to bias images from the scene. I don't say impossible, not only from the recently announced realtime video editing, but because selective presentation can present a particular viewpoint by showing you only certain images. But more importantly, this also causes TV stations to select images that look cool or scary or impressive or attractive, rather than images that impartially and effectively convey the situation.

There's also the problem that it's very linear and beyond my control. If FOX or ABC or NBC or CNN does a story on Napster or DeCSS, I might be interested. But I don't want to sit there watching for 10 minutes while they explain what an mp3 is and what a DVD is and in their oversimplification they say that Napster is a website that contains copyrighted songs. I want to be able to skip right to the facts that I don't already know.

Well the Internet lets me see text and images that present me with facts, and if I ever think I'm being presented with a biased image, it only takes a second or two to jump to somebody else's side of the story. Even better, the people being reported on (Napser, MPAA, RIAA, DeCSS, 2600, US Government courts and judges, etc...) actually have their own sites and I can get the story directly from them. I feel much more confident at my ability to assemble a good understanding of the story based on testimony from all the people concerned than based on a single story told by some supposedly unbiased TV journalist who is targeting his story at people who are significantly different from me.

So of course I go to the 'net for my news. I think TV news is an idiotic concept to begin with, and was just an attempt to cash in on the fact that lots of Americans want to keep up with the news, so they'll watch it on TV at night.

Velocity of News (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 14 years ago | (#830871)

I'm probably as much of a news junkie as anyone. I check CNN, Yahoo and a few others now and then, because the news arrives at the same time as the commercials instead of after them.

A plane crashes somewhere and I can find info on the net just by loading a couple pages. The radio edits out all but the most meager sensational details [an american attache was believed to be on board.] The TV news only appears every so many hours apart, unless its CNN, and only interested in gory details. With the net I can immediately start searches to find out more about things, I.e. how many crashes involved an airbus 320 in the last year, what's the record for Gulf Air, etc. Magazines are ok when I want to see someone elses in depth on something and newspapers are still good when I want to take something along to read and not worry about where to plug it in or how long the batteries will last.

When it comes to tech, the net is unbeatable. It's become the very source.

Vote [] Naked 2000

To bad too! (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#830872)

I have fun checking network news stories. It's amazing how many lies are told!

And the bias on the morning talk show against conservatives is just wonderful to watch.

Try this. Watch Katie of Today show fame. If she is interviewing a liberal, her face just glows with happiness. She gets a mean look when she talks to conservatives.

After Pres. Clinton ordered the bombing of the pill factory in Sudan, the news came out that Pres. Clinton DID NOT consult the Joint Chiefs of Staff! Well little Katie asked if there wasn't some security conserns! The Joint Chiefs of Staff can't be trusted???

So come you people on the wrong side of the digital divide, watch these people work. It's funny!

Ever watch kids fight over a toy? Watching the Sunday morning talking heads is the same thing! Whiny gut kids in suits!

It's fun!!!!

No flame for Katz today. (3)

FPhlyer (14433) | more than 14 years ago | (#830874)

Jon, you have written a particularly good one here, and your assumptions are on the mark... so I won't flame you this time (Okay, I try to stay out of the Jon Katz Flame War thing on /. anyway)

Every now and then I get a call from my local newspaper asking me if I would like to subscribe, and I always give them the same answer: I get my news of the Internet, so leave me alone.

It is true. I don't follow the traditional media (and to think, in my past life I was a journalist for the U.S. Navy!) By the time a newspaper has been printed, delivered and picked up by the reader, that news is already old. And television broadcast news does not allow me to skip over information that is irrelevant to me or investigate relevant information further.

In fact, the only "traditional media" that I consider still viable is good old radio. And that is only because it's irrelevance is negated by the fact that it is just so damn convienient. (If I had a computer that would pull news off the internet in accordance to my tastes and then use a text to speech engine to read it to me while I drive, I wouldn't have a need for radio either.

We live in an age where not only can we get information from around the globe in a very timely fashion, but we can have that information tailored to meet our individual preferences. TV, Newspapers and ultimately Radio just cannot keep up with interactive media.

Re:To bad too! (3)

Rand Race (110288) | more than 14 years ago | (#830876)

Actually, the news tends to be very centrist. It actually has a bit of conservative lean since it relies [] predominantly on conservative think tanks for analysis. While the most cited think tank last year was the centrist, and very establishment friendly, Brookings Institution, the next three most cited are conservative (Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute), and a liberal leaning think tank (Urban Institute) doesn't show up until 10th place. The only thing funnier than watching a liberal twit like Kouric is watching some bloated reactionary crypto-fascist try and convince the world that ABC/Disney is part of a socialist plot.

Folks, the media is big business, and like the rest of them values profit far, far higher than any political bias. Like most huge corporations they throw money at both, increasingly centrist, political parties while marginalizing far left or right views. The total lack of coverage of the protests in Philly and LA glaringly make my point.

here we go (3)

nomadic (141991) | more than 14 years ago | (#830877)

Here, the power of Netizens to tailor their own media is enormous and profound.

Am I the only one who cringes at the term "netizen"?

Where to begin...
Ok, the idea of "tailoring" media doesn't really seem to be much different than what we've been able to do in the past. If I want to read stock quotes, I'll go to the business section of the New York Times. If I want to access them online, I'll go to How is the online experience "tailored" while the print one is not? In both cases I can go right to what I want; I don't have to read/access any other section if I don't want to.

Now what about this idea of online news sources being somehow superior to print/broadcast ones? What Jon seems to ignore in a lot of his posts is the issue of authority. Just about anyone can throw together a "news" web page. Why should I believe what I read on it? When I read a paper in the story I can assume it passed through several people's hands to get there. I can be assured that more likely than not, it is reasonably accurate. And while some papers definitely have a bias, whether from the left (Village Voice) or right (New York Daily News), the vast majority of them tend to be somewhat even-handed. Can't be sure about that online, as due to the ease with which web sites can be put up, and security lapses (how often has the print version of the New York Times been hacked?)

News is not open source. It shouldn't be. If I don't like something I read in the paper, I can't alter it to suit my liking.

I think serious terminology problems arise when it comes to describing younger Americans' tastes in news. Just as many pollsters and journalists don't consider gaming a significant part of culture, entertainment and technology often aren't considered news.

Please, find me a single major news source that doesn't cover culture, entertainment, and technology.

The kids I encounter online devour enormous amounts of information on a daily basis. That makes sweeping descriptions of their information habits suspect.
But sweeping descriptions of the information habits of the over 50 crowd is ok?

I have maybe a handful of friends with whom I can discuss current events. A lot of people I know, while highly intelligent, just don't care.

Personally, I get most of my news online, because that's easier for me. I read the paper on the subway, because I think it handles the news better. For certain things (election coverage) I like CNN. Online news may be gaining in popularity, but I don't think it's inherently better than anything else that's out there. And the rise of 24-hour cable news channels is probably has had a lot more impact in recent years than online ones.

And if you've read to the end of this article, I salute you. Didn't mean to go on so much, but these whole internet/youth good, old media/age bad thing really irritates me.

Frank Zappa sez... (4)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 14 years ago | (#830878)

I am gross and perverted,
I'm obsessed and deranged,
I have existed for years,
but very little has changed.
I'm the tool of the government
and industry too,
for I was destined to rule
and regulate you.
I may be vile and pernicious
but you can't look away.
I make you think I'm delicious
with the stuff that I say.
I'm the best you can get,
Have you guessed me, yet?
I'm the slime
oozing out
from your TV set.

You will obey me as I lead you
with the garbage that I feed you
untill the day that we don't need you,
don't call for help, no one will heed you.

Your mind is totally controlled
it has been stuffed into my mould
and you will do as you are told
untill the rights to you are sold.


This was from way back in pre-internet days :))
Loved it so much I memorized it!

People are selfish. (4)

generic-man (33649) | more than 14 years ago | (#830879)

When I ask people why they don't watch the news, they usually reply that it doesn't apply to them. When Princess Diana died, many people observed, "Why does everyone care about this woman? She's just a public figurehead! This doesn't apply to ME!" The local (WCBS, New York CBS affiliate) news last night at 6:00 was overwhelmingly "Survivor"-related, with occasional breaks for weather, sports, and some wire news copy of the plane crash in Bahrain that killed 143 people. ("Bahrain? Where the hell is that? I don't care about that! I don't know any of those people! Now give us some more dirt on 'Survivor'!") I literally laughed out loud when I saw a promo hyping "live team coverage" of the "Survivor" winner on the 11:00 news. The affiliate even produced a 7:30 PM pre-show. That's four consecutive hours of "Survivor."

The growing popularity of just-for-me cable channels and customizable news sites means that people only care about what's directly relevant to them. It's a stark departure from the earlier days of TV, where everyone watching television could be alerted of news when it happened. If the president were assassinated right now, you could flip to Cartoon Network to watch something more upbeat. If you wanted to catch the news, you would do it on your own time.

Why I don't watch TV news anymore (4)

Mark F. Komarinski (97174) | more than 14 years ago | (#830880)

I get 99.9% of my news from a combination of my Yahoo, NPR, and Slashdot (tech news;). Why not local news? The local channels (I live outside Boston, MA) rarely actually *covers* news. It's all turned into a vague form of investigative reporting. FOX is the worst at this. Their headlines for almost an entire week was "killer automatic doors" and "if your car falls into the river, what do you do?". Yea, that's the hard-hitting journalism that I want to see. I'll bet you a large wad of cash that there was absolutely no coverage of the MPAA or RIAA.

NPR with "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition" at least does things right: 5 minute updates of national (then regional) headlines, followed by more in depth coverage of some of the headlines. Follow that with stuff that isn't necessarily news, but interesting anyways (NPR 100 - the 100 most influential music albums, or lost-and-found-sound which once covered the shortwave numbers).

News (4)

arete (170676) | more than 14 years ago | (#830881)

As a college graduate well under 30, used to regular net access and a caffiene junky, I feel quite prepared to address this issue.

I love reading the paper (The Chicago Tribune is THE paper in my worldview) But not for news. I read the paper when I find a paper, or when I'm at my parents house, or for the comics. I go here and get NYT email every morning, occasionally I look at CNN.

Many times I love knowing what's going on. My friends and I are all addicted to the HISTORY channel. When we bombed bin Laden, we stayed up all night watching fox's coverage (fox played CNN's coverage, then Fox anchorpeople during CNN's commercials) I'll never understand why they did that, except Fox must have WAY too much money.

Plus the "US at WAR" headline was the biggest I've ever seen, 1/2 page just for that. And I got to hear a CNN anchorperson say "Wolf Blitzer will be coming to you ad naseum" REALLY! So I like news.

But life is busy, I've got things to do. When something important happens, I like to hear right away - print is too slow. But when something important happens it gets better coverage on CNN than any network (exception above) so I watch CNN. The difference is most days "regular" news show play regular stories. I find regular stories coma-inducingly boring. I don't care who slept with who, who's the most popular with 12-17 year old girls or how stars lives really are. There just isn't enough news I care about to fill a show every night unless you include depth in stories. And the people still watching it can't deal with depth of stories, only with soundbites. So I'm doubly sold out - half the news I don't want to see. The other half I don't get enough of!

At least with CNN I don't have that second problem. But with the net I have neither problem - I can look at a few headlines and go to the stories I want to read - which is pretty much how a newspaper works. I'll probably get a subscription when I grow out of being a cheap b@st@rd.

So where was I? "Kids" reading news on the net know where it's at. TV doesn't, and hasn't for a long time. There ARE broadcast news shows worth watching - they invariably center around someone with an actual opinion and backbone, and they're usually on PBS (WTTW Ch11, here) All the broadcast news I see is just a couple scanlines higher than "Access Hollywood" in my opinion.

Oh, and I'll read replies, too.

New Open Media i-news!! (5)

Jon Peterson (1443) | more than 14 years ago | (#830882)

New Open Media i-news lets you ignore all that 'boring stuff' about irrelevant people!

This great technology allows you to simply never even know about millions of other people and events!

Fed up with old people talking on the news about shit like economics? Don't give a damn because you earn 35,000 quid a year sitting on your arse doing Flash movies? Just cut it out with i-news!

"I used to get fed up with old people talking about, like, foreign affairs and stuff", says newly liberated media consumer Natalie. "It's like I don't care about some old Korean people getting worked up about some border somewhere. I wan't even born when the Korean war happened - it was like so dumb, I can't relate to it. But I never see anything about how Napster is the new American Revolution and how the MPAA are doing so much evil in this world."

And that's not all. By ensuring you _ONLY_ use i-news you can live in an entirely me-centric info-verse. Only stuff that directly affects your wealthy techno-cool urban-hip lifestyle will ever reach you! And That means:

MORE colour pieces on cool kids like you!
MORE pseudo philosophical guff about how YOUNG COOL PEOPLE are really way more important than, like, everyone else.
TOTAL coverage of pointless stupid events like the pre-release demo of naff Doom clone computer games.
ENDLESS ranting by self appointed pundits on how the Internet is JUST SO WONDERFUL.

But, remember, i-news also means:

NO people who use long difficult words.
NO lusers in suits who 'totally don't have a clue'
NO pictures of poor people in far away places.

So, get rid of your t.v. don't buy the papers, and tune in to our short-lived open media web site, where you will be guaranteed to:


as you consume endless, meaningless crap while desperately pretending that because you post shit to some bulletin board you are actually part of a community in any meaningful sense.


What we want is information, not ads or hype. (5)

ImpactSmash (217625) | more than 14 years ago | (#830884)

The nightly news is too heavily influenced by advertisers, politics, and personal bias. The networks are more interests in holding the attention of the vast majority, than report relevant information to its community.
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