Thursday, July 19, 2012

Changing Channels

My latest piece for the Daily Banter is up and it asks a question that will seem a little surprising given my initial take on this subject: Can The Newsroom actually change television news for the better?

Here's the opening shot:

"A few weeks back I banged out a column for this site that took issue with what I called the misguided, 'pipe-dreamy idealism' of Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO show, 'The Newsroom.' After watching only the season premiere I didn’t necessarily claim to know whether the show would eventually wind up being genuinely good TV, but I did think that it had all the necessary ingredients to be cloying and obnoxious as hell. From Sorkin’s at times insufferably overbearing sanctimony, to characters I didn’t really care much about, to, yes, a lack of foundation in anything approaching the real world when it came to how the show portrayed the world of television news, I just wasn’t sure it would keep my attention for long let alone have the kind of impact it was obvious Sorkin was hoping it would on the industry I’d devoted almost two decades of my life to. In that original piece, I said that TV newspeople on the whole simply aren’t idealistic enough these days to be affected by anything that tries so blatantly to both lecture them and appeal to their sense of dignity..."

Read the Rest Here


Mart said...

One theory is they will not attack major institutions or individuals over fear of losing access. Anything to that in your experience? (Have not watched the show, you piqued my interest.)

QuadCityPat said...

The show is definitely growing on me. Also the Don Keefer producer character is totally you, correct?

Chez said...

I used to be kind of a dick but Keefer isn't really too much like I was. Actually, while he's definitely an archetype in TV news, every time I see him I feel like he's based on one specific person in the TV news business with whom I used to work and who's now gone on to be a very big network deal.

ntx said...

I keep thinking Jeff Daniels should play Steve Doocey.

Steven D Skelton said...

The short answer to your question is "no."

Ratings drive reporting and news, and people don't want honest and courageous journalism. They don't want a fair look at the days news.

They want their news delivered to them in a manner that fits within their world view.

They want to hear that their guys wear white hats and the other guys are out to destroy the country.

There is really only one news organization that tries to be fair....and look where they are in the ratings.