Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Good journalism=bad p.r.

Posted on | April 25, 2007 | 2 Comments

NBC President Steve Capus, in an interview with longtime foreign and national correspondent Oprah Winfrey, said good journalism is sometimes bad pr. He was referring to NBC’s airing of the video and rantings of Virginia Tech assassin Cho Seung-Hui.
I think good journalism is always bad pr….for someone. Good journalism exposes things that people don’t want exposed on a micro and macro level. Good journalism is dying (my pessimistic days) or morphing (my optimistic days) into something that may not be good journalism but passes for it. Good journalism not only inspires but it should make readers squirm because they realize that the rosy pictures painted elsewhere ain’t always so. On a pessimistic day, I could say that journalism died a long time ago. How else to explain how the Virginia Tech massacre story died by week’s end. Gone. Buried. The only thing that revived it briefly was when the newsweeklies showed up in the mail box. (Can anything look stupider than a Newsweek or Time cover three days after the media has left the story??)
David Halberstam (good journalism) died too young in a car wreck. While he made the front page of the S.F. Chronicle among three other obits, he was below the fold! The lead obit on the front page (in fact the lead story) was the heart attack of a local ballet notable. Nice editorial choices.
Virginia Tech. Halberstam. Tonight the House is debating the war funding resolution in Washington. This is not a Pelosi-Bush, Democrat-Republican face off; this is a fascinating moment in the history of perpetual battle between the legislative and executive branches of government. This is great stuff! It’s about the very fabric and ideal of our nation!
What’s the hot news? Rosie is leaving The View.
Cocktails anyone?

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Comments

2 Responses to “Good journalism=bad p.r.”

  1. Brian
    April 26th, 2007 @ 9:47 am

    Ratings don’t lie. The majority of people are more interested in Anna Nicole Smith than in the state of the union.

    The question is what, if any, remedy there should be for that. Resuming civics in schools (I never had to take a civics class; I don’t know anyone required to take one today)? Reform journalism?

    Everything in your blog tells you journalism is in the process of being reformed right now. John Stewart might be a comedian, but Pew says his viewers are better informed than viewers of the Fox network. If the best information available about politics gets mixed in with comedy, well, what the hell? It’s still the best information available, and it most certainly is still politics.

  2. Anonymous
    December 23rd, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

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