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Just not sure how to play good news

January 16, 2009 | Airlines,Journalism,Media,MSM

Have you heard about the “miracle on the Hudson” yet? It’s the plane that went down in the Hudson River yesterday. Everyone on board survived.

It’s nice to have good news, right? Sure, but our media seem somewhat uncomfortable with the whole idea.

I heard about the crash on Facebook, and I didn’t see anything about it on television until later.

I watched Larry King interview two doctors who treated people from the flight. One was in the studio. The other stood outside, probably getting dangerously close to this hypothermia he kept talking about. His nose was red, and his words got more slurred each time they went back to him.

Anyway, at some point, someone told King that everyone survived.

“Hunh,” King said, followed by a weird little silence.

This morning, I watched part of the news conference with the mayor and the rescuers. Some of the questions couldn’t quite get the whole “good news” idea.

“How cold was the water and how long would it take for someone to DIE in it?”

“How does this mission compare with others you have been on?” (You know, others where people DIED?)

The news conference was so relaxed that it even made time for a Spanish-speaking rescuer to take a question from a Spanish-speaking reporter … in Spanish … which CNN, of course, immediately started chattering over, recapping the unbelievable story in which nobody DIED.

Posted by Becky @ 11:25 am  

3 Responses to “Just not sure how to play good news”

  1. Cyndi Says:

    It’s pitiful, eh? I saw it on tv first and couldn’t believe how disappointed they seemed not to have much, let alone anything tragic, to say during the HOURS they preempted other programs. sigh. Maybe BO will make the news more pleasant, too??

  2. Parentopia Devra Says:

    I can’t remember if it was 20/20 or Dateline, but one of them profiled a father and his son who were on opposite wings of the plane and didn’t find one another until after they were rescued. Each wasn’t sure if the other was okay, but Dateline presented it as if no one would know that it would be a happy ending. It was ridiculous. I totally smell what you are stepping in because I watched that segment and pondered, “What’s wrong with reporting good news as, oh I dunno, good news?”

  3. Gunfighter Says:

    Good news and happiness doesn’t sell.

    If it doesn’t sell, the advertisers don’t buy time. If they don’t buy rime, the show (and the anchors and the network) goes into the toilet.

    Good news is bad for business.

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