My former colleagues at the BBC, including Richard Black and others whom I know as good men and women all, remain trapped like most Western-style journalists in the old paradigm of news as event, not process, always needing to be shiny, new and different.
As a correspondent, and later at every nine o’clock morning editorial meeting at the World Service on every weekday through the 1990s, I and my colleagues would grapple with this – how to tell a complex story in just a few lines, with enough of a news peg to interest our listeners. And listeners, viewers and readers have short attention spans – they’ll tune out if they sense it’s just the same old stuff.
So, in order to sell and appeal, whether public service or commercial, journalism needs events. We need clear causes, agents and forces to be visibly responsible. We need (not that we put it like this) a narrative of baddies and goodies. Where the climate is concerned, things are slow-moving, complex, and what’s more, we ourselves are the baddies. That’s not something listeners and viewers want or wanted to be told.
HT Jay Rosen - Isn't this the heart of the matter? Are not most of the tough issues that confront us complex and slow moving and they involve not "them" but "US"!
I think that the media has failed us all and has a major responsibility for the mess that we are in. We are stalled on energy, food, security, immigration, education and the economy. Why? Because our media uses a process that ensures that we are stalled.
Do I know a better way? I know a better direction which is why I am working with KETC on Immigration - one of the issues where only emotion and externalization rules and where the press pour gas on the fears of the people and so feed a political system that is only theatre.