News by Opinion

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Do you watch news programs?  There are many today, and they are all beginning to look and sound the same.  A long time ago a news program would have one featured anchor (shall we say) and they would interview a person or two for several minutes.  Today we seem to get our news in 30 or 60 second bites. No one is usually permitted to go further into the topic or bring up history or background.

Our news also is given to us by “panels” of people giving their opinion –generally based on their political situation or past position or the author of a new book or a topic they have talked or written about in the past.  Then there are past government officials with past administrations.  Everyone has an opinion!

For example, a question could be “should the President have fired a missile?”   Then we bring in three, five, seven people to give their viewpoint.  Maybe one of those will be a Congressperson, or a former Congressperson or upon occasion, a man from the street\ will be brought in and permitted to  give his opinion.  Appearing on a news program seems to me to be how a someone such as a writer  or the manager of an institute or a college professor can become a Somebody.

I recall when I was working as a public relations person I had a list of employees or teachers that were experts (or knowledgeable) in certain topics.  When an event occurred I would whip out an email telling the local news folks that Mr. Someone  or Dr. Somebody  taught that topic or had a working background in that specific topic and was available for an interview. Economists were always a good fit.  It also helped that that particular person gained visibility with his/her peers.  You still see that form of interview on local news programs.  But for the most part, the national news has moved to the panel program format.

Joining me today is how it begins. If there are four persons, sometimes there is never enough time to get but one nod of the head or a sentence from all the folks. Thank you for joining us today.

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