Monday, July 17, 2006

"First Lady of CBS News"

Not running related at all. But still random thoughts.

First Lady of CBS News ready to work
Miami Herald
(Click here for the full Miami Herald/Mercury News article.)


``We heard from many people that the news is just too depressing,'' Couric said. ``Now, obviously, we can't sugarcoat what's going on in the world, but there are cases where I believe we can be a little more solution-oriented.''

Oh, and, a few less shouting heads, please.

Viewers ``didn't feel that the country was as polarized as was being illustrated in the media in the various forms of news they were watching. One woman in Minneapolis said, `Whatever happened to critical thinking?' '' Couric said.

``Some people felt as if the media in general had abdicated its role of really talking about facts and information rather than just points of view. They also wanted more civil discourse. You know, they want more thinking and less spewing, as one man said.''



I'm not a Katie Couric fan -- not a naysayer, either. I guess I'm somewhat neutral. However, in a Miami Herald interview, published by Mercury News, in which she talks about CBS News' process of finding out what people think about the current state of news broadcasting, Couric has made two points with which I agree:

1. News media focus on the negative and ignore the good (at least, that's how I interpret her first statement).

... and ...

2. I detest the shouting matches that CNN seems to have started several years ago with its Crossfire program and which many news shows have adopted -- that seems to be all I can catch on Fox News and MSNBC. Rather than providing an environment for exploring (key word) opposing perspectives on the news, it seems to lead to shallow opinion-sharing, staunch defensiveness, and denigration of other points of view ("Aw, come on ... how can you possibly say that?!" type of statements). Some networks seem to go out of their way to find news people with the loudest, most obnoxious voices to deliver the news -- even when they are the only one on the set.

Now, can Katie Couric deliver the solution-oriented, critically thought out news that she says is needed? That remains to be seen. She has a huge barrier to cross with her background on fluff-news (morning "news" talk shows). Charlie Gibson has the same barrier in his move from Good Morning America to ABC Nightly News (not sure if that's the right name).

It would be great if Couric can pull this off. I guess we'll see in the Fall.

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