Wednesday, March 9, 2011

News Addiction

John Marine | 3/09/2011 06:37:00 PM | | |
(UPDATED: MAR 10 2011 - Added more content and some links)

Following news can be an addiction. I only want to know about certain things going on in life and in culture. The only news I really note are weather and sports. I still care about current events, but I am just not as addicted or as Some people just don't watch TV news or listen to radio news. I don't watch any of the major TV news networks (CNBC, FOX News, Headline News, Bloomberg News, etc.) unless there's something really big I want to follow. I don't listen to news radio (or at least often) like News Radio 740 AM here in Houston. I only listen to what I want to listen to (mostly traffic, weather, and sports).

This blog is a commentary piece on getting news and somehow the addictive nature of wanting to get TV/Radio news.

--- Can Following News Be Addictive? ---
Getting TV/Radio/Internet news is always what you want. How you get your fill of what is going on in the world depends on you and what you are willing to want to know about. It is even dependent at times on how you want news delivered. Do you prefer a general briefing of what is going on? Do you prefer in-depth team coverage of events? Do you prefer continuing coverage along with certain experts offering commentary on matters? All of these questions have to be answered based on what you look for in a newscast and what you want out of understanding what is going on. Also, is the current news team capable of providing such levels of news coverage to make it as comprehensive as possible? Sometimes, I can't take certain news events because (and even my brother talked about this once) every time you watch the news, it is usually about something wrong that has happened- car crash deaths, sex offenders, civil unrest, and things like that.

That's why I usually don't watch the TV news very often. Some would argue about certain conspiracies or bias in featuring news events; some others feel there is some sort of corporate agendas with expressing certain stories certain ways. I only care about certain stories that really or potentially impact me. I even stay away from the news because there are a lot of issues that I just don't feel comfortable or knowledgeable discussing or thinking about. These are usually topics regarding government or the economy. I have just not been comfortable at all with these matters because I simply don't know these issues to professionally think about or discuss them. That is also why I avoid (or at least discuss at a minimum) topics regarding government and/or the economy in my blog and in my YouTube videos.

There are two reasons I follow mostly weather and sports news. I follow weather because (even I tend to admit) I become interested as to what weather conditions are in store for the day. I guess you can say I become addicted to weather news as much as some become addicted to current events and world news. And obviously, I care about sports news because I'm into sports. A good thing about sports news is usually that there usually isn't any sad news that happens unless a serious injury or death happens. Sports news is usually at the end since there isn't usually anything bad to talk about apart from some of the current event and local/world news. So those are two that I usually watch and want to know about when watching TV news or listening to radio news.

--- My Inspiration for this Blog Post ---
So what has inspired me to discuss this topic? Here it is:

The NewsFix Influence.

With NewsFix (sadly) set to debut on March 19, 2011 on CW39 here in Houston, this is like an attempt at trying to boost ratings for Channel 39 news. I understand TV/Radio news as a business, and I understand Tribune will do what they can to enhance its appeal and its image. However, it's a great shame to shy away from conventional methods this sort of way. Doing away entirely on an anchor and reporter system is radical thinking that can really add some value and new character to a newscast. As I had mentioned in a past blog post, why even have a newscast if you're going to do away with everything in this sort of way? Saying this is CW39 we're discussing, I'd rather hear and see personalities like Mia Gradney, Katishia Cosley, Maggie Flecknoe, Mayra Moreno, David Solano, Mike McGuff, "Chief Keith" Monahan, Jorge Vargas... and others rather than a mostly faceless crew that completely takes away the human element of news. Now before anyone decides to blast me by misinterpreting the NewsFix concept, I have understood and mostly read what NewsFix is and what it isn't. I know it as a system that doesn't rely on reporters or anchors to deliver news. It obviously takes people to generate this content. But let's face it- no reporters or anchors visible or expressing things means you have no human element. You try to accomplish what COULD be done by reporters and anchors (even if they aren't all that good for TV standards or for what people consider acceptable for TV) by going with technology instead.

The NewsFix concept is supposed to be like something operated entirely with mostly photojournalism and with certain icons describing certain news tidbits. Congratulations- the human element is missing. It's not like CW39 was dependent all on certain personalities. Even I think Mia Gradney is a beautiful woman with a great presence on CW39. What makes news people respected is covering the news. Try as you might with a faceless cast, it takes certain people to deliver the news in unique ways. And how exactly are you boosting the ratings (or trying to) by getting rid of anchors and reporters?

Here is an analogy: getting rid of reporters and anchors to cover news is like replacing teachers and staff members in grade schools with computers and robots. Even if the teachers are underperforming as a whole, how the hell are you making a school better by removing the human element in favor of some faceless and anonymous system? And how exactly are the students going to get a better education when you replace a human workforce with a load of faceless and anonymous technology? The goal is still the same- deliver something to someone. Doing it THIS way, though, is just not acceptable, groundbreaking, cool... whatever adjective floats your boat for this. What about if the children needed more help? Who would they turn to- something anonymous? What good will THAT do? That's why I think this NewsFix conept is about as annoying as the anonymous RAW General Manager (for all the pro wrestling fans out there) concept. Okay. Maybe CW39 isn't as well-watched or regarded as KTRH, KPRC, or KHOU news; but when you have several options on TV to get your news, you tend to love one more than many others. You may watch several other newscasts, but there will be at least one you can continually come back to for all of your news needs the way you want them. CW39 and its staff have been that for me. I can always go back to watching ABC 13 for my news, but CW39 has been the news station I usually watch for reasons other than the various on-air personalities I mentioned.

Here is a sample of NewsFix according to a report from
(If the video above doesn't work or show, use this link instead to access "Nigerian Nightmare" on

More on NewsFix and Other Related Readings...

The Internet is your friend. Use it.

* For more thoughts of mine on the whole NewsFix concept, I invite you to read my blog post entitled "NewsFix... as a Concept." It is going to be absolutely tough to convince me that NewsFix is going to save CW39 News or even be any sort of positive revolution in reporting news.

More on NewsFix:
* 15 Things NewsFix Is
* 11 Things NewsFix Isn't
* NewsFix Mission Statement

Related Reading:
* Favorite On-Air Personalities in Houston News

One Last Note...

When I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, one of my college aspirations was to get into broadcasting and journalism. I even wanted to test the waters of being a sports anchor. To be honest, though, I didn't know if I could really commit to and enjoy being an anchor. So therefore, I've stuck to blogging and making online videos. I am not even sure if I want to even return to college to consider getting a Bachelor's Degree in something I am likely not going to make good use of (I have an Associate's in the Arts). There was even an article posted online asking if it is really necessary to have a college degree to get into the broadcasting and journalism business. Too many gray areas- so I'm staying with blogging and videos.

Thank you for reading! Comments welcome.

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