Why This Generation Isn't Concerned With Losing Brian Williams
There was once a time when friends and families would huddle around a weird-looking box in their living rooms and get all of their news from it.
I know, it’s a far-out concept, but go with me on this one.
It may seem abstract to some, but the TV is still the primary source of news for most Americans. This is, in part, due to some of the notable anchors that have long been respected as trustworthy sources of news remaining on the air.
However, the TV news industry was served a low blow recently when it came out that one of their most hailed reporters has been lying about a few details in a teeny-tiny story he shot in a little place called Iraq.
Now, it’s coming out that Brian Williams may not have just been lying about the chopper he was in being under fire in Iraq, but also things like being attacked by gangs in his French Quarter hotel, as well as rescuing puppies from a fire. Seriously, BriWi, who lies about puppies?
NBC has officially pulled the plug for Brian Williams for six months, a timeout that’s going to cost him $5 million out of his contract with the network.
Williams is -- was -- considered to be one of the most impartial and unbiased sources of the news, and analysts are saying this is going to have a larger effect on the overall trust Americans place on their newscasters.
But, this isn’t to say a new Walter Cronkite isn’t still out there. A source of news that doesn’t paint a negative or imagined picture does exist. In fact, it’s right beneath our fingertips, and the pictures come in real time.
The Internet is becoming a quicker and easier mode for news each day, with coverage of breaking events across several different online platforms.
We live in a world where we can see 20 different angles, shots and perspectives of a developing situation instantly. We make up our own minds about the events taking place as they happen.
Finding out the true events that occur in a scandal or crisis is as simple as entering a keyword or hashtag.
In today’s world, we read a million different things each day. We’re taught from a young age to not always believe everything that flashes in front of the screen. When it comes to the Internet, people with common sense must decipher the truth from BS on a daily basis.
But, a good journalist is experienced in distinguishing the sources for truth, as well as news from the rest of the flock.
Now, a good reporter’s most defining quality will be his or her ability to harness the Internet.
Television news may have a shot at gaining the attention of the youth if they are able to assimilate into the world of online news.
TV networks should be incorporating real-time Twitter updates and posts from sites like Banjo and Google news, in order to have the most up-to-date information in an unbiased fashion.
If television news wants to redefine itself as the trusted establishment it once was, it’s going to take a massive overhaul.
The industry will have to completely reshape the way it conducts business, from the way it finds the news to the way it reports the news.
But, that isn’t to say all hope is lost for the networks.
If stations can find a way to incorporate themselves into today’s new media, they could capture the attention of the youth and, perhaps, remain the number one source for the most trusted news.