Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Powers That Be

First and foremost, I should mention that I currently do not have a dish setup, cable plan, or regular television channels. Hence, I am somewhat in the dark and, in some ways, I was unable to fully participate in the study for this week. That said, though not often, I have watched the news before and feel I am able to provide some commentary on what I've observed. The newscasters themselves interest me and I wonder what makes them do what they do. What's their motivation for sharing the news? For the longest time growing up, I thought the newscasters were the ones in charge of finding and delivering the news. More recently, I'm seeing them as pawns in the game instead.

The inflection of a newscaster seems to be one of concerned stability. In their voices, there always seems to be a hint of sincerity and yet they, the newscasters, present the news in a deadpan sort of way ("professional" would probably be the descriptive term they, the news station, would use to describe this aspect of broadcast). There is no crescendo to the broadcast and nothing visceral in its delivery. Transitions between news stories have been catching my eye as of late. From time to time, a brief, tragic story will be followed by news about a political campaign or something along those lines. There seems to be no connection, no trajectory between the stories. What is the purpose for them being next to each other in the broadcast? Is it to take the edge off, to maintain a public numbness through the avoidance of suffering?

The final 15 minutes, half of the entire broadcast is devoted to weather and sports. Granted, many are interested in both of these subjects, but they seem fickle and trivial in relation to some of the other stories skimmed over. In fact, it seems like a good deal of people watch the news so they can "catch" the weather or "find out about what happened with the game." The actual news stories seem to be of little interest.

As I prefer listening to my iPod when I'm in my car, I don't listen to the radio very often. If I do turn on the radio, I listen to MPR's The Current. Since I don't have any television channels for the time being, I haven't been tuning into anything as of late. I receive internet via Minneapolis Public Wifi and I'm not exactly sure what the source of that is. Though I'm slightly embarrassed to admit it, Yahoo! tend to be my online news source. Finding information about the ownership of Yahoo! was also tricky.

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