Friday, July 22

Newsbreakers Break My Balls! (LOL) How do you like that for an over-hyped headline?

Actually, Buck and I appear to be on the same page and the dialogue is healthy and signficant-- go critical theory!

Newsbreaker Buck "Lucky" Owens has left his response to my blog entry/update about his organization. While I'm a big fan, I worry the Newsbreakers' mission and message are unclear and easily upstaged by the stunts.

Buck responded:
A-ha, Professor Weaver, you've fallen into our trap! We've given you a peg by which to write your own interpretation of today's TV news landscape. And by doing that, you've spread media literacy further than if we had attempted to do all the heavy lifting ourselves. Where we have ignored clarity, we've payed close attention to novelty. I submit that this approach has done more to promote a dialogue about the sad state of affairs in today's newsrooms than if we had set out on a more earnest course. If it is true what you say about the dire state of the modern news worker's soul, I offer this: Our work needs no justification other than that which is inherent in the act of live shot sabotage. In other words, if they're all spineless company clones, they're getting what they deserve. I don't happen to think they all are or do. I'll leave you with one vacuous, self-congratulatory closing thought. It was Toto, a mere mut, who pulled back the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.

Buck's quite good at making his case (I bet he gave a wink and let out a chuckle as he wrote his comments).

Instead of walking into a trap, I am a willing participant supporting his imaginative approach to media criticism. Yet I am concerned stunts eclipse the message.

As for all the heavy lifting behind promoting media literacy, I'm fine with it. That's what a know-it-all broadcast journalist now situated in academia likes to do. However I'm also aware that people in the business stopped listening to me (or any other critic) a long time ago.

They exist in a TV newsroom culture where reacting to events with lameness and sameness is the norm and reaffirmed with incestuous
regional Emmy and AP Broadcast Awards. The cycle is managed by station executives carrying out the directives of consultants who measure audience reponses to news music and graphics ignoring flash over substance.

Meanwhile, Buck and I have engaged in a significant discussion that I've laid out publicly here on my blog. It's part of my effort to bring attention to the crap that passes for broadcast news
(and as Buck has pointed out part of his insideious plan to ensnare me into really do it for him).

But is the TV news audience participating in this dialogue? I'm hoping the audience will take notice and look beyond the Newsbreakers' pranks and see the validity of the critique.

As for Newsbreakers, what's next for the gang? Could we see a reality TV show coming next?

You can reach Lucky Buck at:

1 comment:

Laura K. said...

sebas got a job at a tv station in georgia!