Skip to comments.Ted Koppel Pens First Piece as 'NY Times' Columnist--Comes Out Swinging
Posted on 01/29/2006 9:20:51 AM PST by Pikamax
Ted Koppel Pens First Piece as 'NY Times' Columnist--Comes Out Swinging
By E&P Staff
Published: January 29, 2006 12:45 AM ET
NEW YORK In his first contribution after being named a New York Times columnist, former ABC newsman Ted Koppel declares, "I cannot help but see that the industry in which I have spent my entire adult life is in decline and in distress."
Koppel raps the new "calculated subjectivity" and forced empathy of cable news, and adds: "The accusation that television news has a political agenda misses the point. Right now, the main agenda is to give people what they want. It is not partisanship but profitability that shapes what you see."
But his view is that journalists "should be telling their viewers what is important, not the other way around. "
In a surprise conclusion, he suggests that perhaps rather than aiming news shows at the disinterested younger segment, the networks should focus on serving older consumers who actually are interested in serious news. (Is there a lesson for newspapers here?)
The goal for the traditional broadcast networks now "is to identify those segments of the audience considered most desirable by the advertising community and then to cater to them," Koppel writes. "Most television news programs are therefore designed to satisfy the perceived appetites of our audiences. That may be not only acceptable but unavoidable in entertainment; in news, however, it is the journalists who should be telling their viewers what is important, not the other way around.
"Indeed, in television news these days, the programs are being shaped to attract, most particularly, 18-to-34-year-old viewers. They, in turn, are presumed to be partly brain-dead though not so insensible as to be unmoved by the blandishments of sponsors.
"Most particularly on cable news, a calculated subjectivity has, indeed, displaced the old-fashioned goal of conveying the news dispassionately. But that, too, has less to do with partisan politics than simple capitalism." Koppel knocks CNN's new emphasis on journalism-by-empathy, and observes: "Even Fox News's product has less to do with ideology and more to do with changing business models...
"Now, television news should not become a sort of intellectual broccoli to be jammed down our viewers' unwilling throats. We are obliged to make our offerings as palatable as possible. But there are too many important things happening in the world today to allow the diet to be determined to such a degree by the popular tastes of a relatively narrow and apparently uninterested demographic....
"If the network news divisions cannot be convinced that their future depends on attracting all demographic groups, then perhaps, at least, they can be persuaded to aim for the largest single demographic with the most disposable income one that may actually have an appetite for serious news. That would seem like a no-brainer. "
And journalists go to importance school so they can know more about what's important than the rest of us, right?
Nope Teddy, you still don't get it.
The NYT is driving an agenda which puppets like John Kerry quickly imbibe.
Hi, Ted. Welcome to the party.
it is the journalists who should be telling their viewers what is important, not the other way around.
This is why they are in decline TED!
Just tell us what happened and we can figure out the rest on our own!!!!!!!!!!
All this from one of the worst partisan hack jobbers of all time. Reminds of the Aaron Brown stew of muck.
These anchors are dinosaurs and they are now starting to figure that out. It only took 10 years of the internet before they realized it.
Koppel, you pompous windbag, your failure to acknowledge the agenda is the point.
He clearly is someone who has mastered the leftist school of propaganda from the 1950's.
He is being artful when he writes that the news to playing to the audience rather than "educating" them.
He does not define "educate", but I believe it encompasses his leftist slant.
He does not take up the idea that news orgs are critical only of those who oppose their viewpoint. They are not critical of those who share their viewpoint ignoring the idea that they should test their viewpoints as well.
An example is that "Democracy is Good" and "Democracry can vote of Sociopaths", ie; Hitler and Hamas.
Another example is "republicans are the culture of corruption" when the democrats who hold no power yet receive enormous funds from the National Education Association, Lawyer Lobbiest and other major leftist groups none of which represent a majority of America (and they know it!).
To Koppel this should be a nation of the journalists, by the journalists and for the journalists.
Ted needs to get a clue. It matters not if one is trying to provide a service or a product. If the provider does not give the consumers what the consumer wants the provider goes under.
It is called freedom of the people. Ted Koppel like most elitists opposes freedom.. He is for journalistic dictatorship.
Dictators usually end up being killed or committing suicide. Koppel needs to ask Hitler and Mussolini how that works.
Dinosaur media extinction alert....
What did one of Shakespeare's characters say was the solution to society's problems? "First kill all the lawyers."
Well, that's not quite the problem here.
How about "First fire all the publishers, close down the journalism schools, raffle off the newspapers and radio stations to the highest bidders, and get rid of 90% of the reporters."
There will be no objective news worth reading or listening to until we get rid of the ideological interests bent on distorting the news for their own purposes, the Pinch Sulzbergers and Donald Grahams of the world.
Network newscasters have been doing that for years.
Gay teen not allowed to bring lesbian friend to prom. - IMPORTANT
Christian boy has Bible taken away during his private, lunchtime prayers. - NOT IMPORTANT
I tried to read the NYT piece but I'm not going to give them $$ for Times Select. Seems the no-brainer is that Ted and his ilk want to be the only judge of what is supposed to be important enough to be presented. The demographic thing is a convinient excuse...
OTOH, perhaps the audience might appreciate hearing just the facts.
If Koppel is advocating ratings, then he'd be all for the same nude broadcasting the Russians have been engaging in.
True journalistic "news" has nothing to do with his philosophy.
What's "important" is how the Republicans are mean-spirited and corrupt and how they are destroying the country and how the Democrats will save us, right Ted?
Bingo! Koppel has always come across that way to me.