Friday, January 7, 2011
If it bleeds, it leads - CBC operating principle
By CBC’s new standards, it was a long piece. What happened is that some reporter did an interview and then edited out his/her questions and left only the voice of the woman speaking. We didn’t get to hear the possible leading questions or coaching of the interviewee to offer comments the reporter wanted.
Instead what we did hear was a woman, who apparently knows Mr. Taylor, going on at great length about his life and his alleged mental illness. She described herself as a friend of Mr. Taylor’s and went into a lot of intimate detail about what she thinks caused him to act the way he did that led to the death of a young man on the streets of Port aux Basque.
My thought as I was listening to the piece was how little dignity was being afforded Mr. Taylor by the CBC in broadcasting this “interview” and by the woman in going into so much detail about him. A similar account was broadcast on television tonight and quite frankly, when I saw where it was going, I changed the channel. I don’t need the tabloid fodder that this material provides to the voyeuristic media managers who thinks it satisfies some sort of public interest. In my opinion, it is sinking to the lowest common denominator in tabloid trash journalism which was never the domain of the CBC. Now it seems that ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ is the editorial operating principle of those who plan the CBC early morning show.
Is it any wonder that the public’s assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades of research surveys, and people’s views of media bias and independence now match previous lows? In the 20-years of research conducted by the highly respected Pew Centre in the United States, there has been an ongoing decline in the level of trust people place in the news media.
Today’s broadcast is just another reason not to listen.