Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Adding to the list

Having trouble figuring out what to eat for dinner? Wondering where to go for your home improvement needs? Well, just ask the staffers at News Channel 9 for a bit of advice. So far this month, the-your-news-now network has posted no less than two news stories that blast the line between journalism and advertising clear off the map.

First, there was a story about how the flood-devastated communities along the Mohawk River could have protected themselves by paying a quick visit to the “experts” at Lowes before June’s deluge.

The channel then lets one of these so-called experts prattle on about how a liberal coating of lacquer would have prevented thousands of dollars worth of water damage. For those looking for this miracle lacquer, it’s located right next to the exercise-free weight-loss pills in the same isle as the flowbee display.

Just one week after producing the home improvement advertorial gem, News 9 headed north to the Glens Falls Hannaford, looking for what new-fangled products the supermarket chain was selling. This time, film crews came back with a story about an ingenious innovation being sold: microwaveable dinners.

Yes, folks, this new line of easy-to-make dinners boast the “steam flow” method of cooking to prepare state-of-the-art packaged foods in under four minutes. This scintillating culinary foray into radiation cooking is so fresh and so gourmet that even Chef Gordon Ramsey would probably be fooled into thinking it was a dish from Claridge’s. Or at least that’s the tone implied by News 9.

The bottom line is that this is a new low in for even television journalism, which already has the bar set low enough for an expert limbo competition. There’s no excuse for pandering to the advertising department on television, especially when viewers are already subject to a solid 15 minutes of commercials interlaced between news clips that are already lacking.

And if such pieces are a necessary mandate from the ad department, the News 9 crews should at least have the tact to promote local, mom-and-pop businesses, which might not wield multi-billion dollar advertising campaigns.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And do you know what the public response has been to the shitty journalism on television news....no one watches it anymore! Good job networks.

3:09 PM  

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