EVERY morning I wake up I turn on the Today Show on Channel Nine.
It’s something I have done for years. It gives me a quick snapshot of what’s making the news.
Unfortunately, it’s now making me start the day depressed.
As I have already mentioned in this column I spent many years in the television industry and during that time saw many good reporters come and go. For the most they were dedicated and followed the ethics of journalism.
They were led by excellent News Editors with years of experience behind them.
I wonder if these experienced editors are still around today, because I have to say that the news reports we are getting dished up by the commercial channels is for the most part attention seeking rubbish.
Ipswich Hospital was once again in bright lights last week when breathless presenters reported a one day old baby had been snatched from the hospital.
It wasn’t true and the next day the hospital had to put out a press release explaining that the mother had discharged herself and her baby from the hospital.
Did the TV news correct their report?
No, the next night they just briefly talked about how the search had found the baby. The old saying is: “never let the facts spoil a good story”.
It’s what we are getting dished up every night as Channel Seven and Channel Nine try to beat each other to the punch and grab a ratings win.
They both know that’s the big prize, because it means more advertising dollars to the networks.
I’ve had many people say to me they don’t watch the television news anymore because it is so depressing.
I have never been one of those, but lately I am starting to agree.
Death, mayhem and bad news is the daily recipe dished up by young good looking reporters straight from university or short stints in regional TV stations.
Fortunately we still have some seasoned reporters telling it as it is, but for the most part we don’t get the real facts.
Stories are sensationalised to get as much attention as possible.
Allegations levelled at any person become facts as they are repeated as if the complaints are true.
People fighting to prove their innocence in court are accosted by reporters shoving microphones in their face asking questions as if they know the truth and the defendant should be ashamed.
Forget about “you are innocent until proven guilty” these days.
Now it’s a case of you are guilty as charged and I am going to get a great story by abusing you.
Online media also concentrates on negative stories.
Young digital journalists are just sent off to cover specific court stories that their seniors know will get clicks.
Positive stories are ignored, they just don’t rate.
Has this negativity now become the norm for all major media? I hope not.