Thursday, July 12, 2007

Should networks get more graphic in war coverage?

Posted by Teresa at 1:02 PM


In an article in Broadcasting and Cable, J. Max Robbins
argues that the three major networks should get more
graphic in their Iraq coverage. He writes:

My suggestion to all in the nightly-news game, even leader
World News, is that they get a lot more aggressive in their
coverage of the Iraq War and related stories. I’d advise them
to provide even more graphic coverage of what’s actually going
on in Iraq and to never shy away from the gruesome toll the war
is taking.

I'm all for broadcast news organizations giving a truthful and honest
depiction of war. Visuals (especially video) do tend to have an affect
that words can not produce. My question and problem is: What would
be the usefulness of showing more graphic images? For example, what
would be the benefit of watching some of the several beheadings that
have occurred in the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq?

I'm also curious why Robbins focuses on just the three major broadcast
networks. Is it solely because the networks have falling ratings? So is
he suggesting that in order to increase ratings that ABC, NBC, and CBS
should show more 'gruesome' images. That notion is extremely troubling.
That's like saying 'My blog isn't getting enough viewers so I'll become outrageous
and a flamethrower.' If people aren't watching the product then you should
improve and upgrade the content, not put on what ever will garner the most
reaction.

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