This quote from Jon Banner, executive producer of ABC Nightly News, is one of those truths that are said innocently enough without the speaker realizing how much they are saying about why the news business is in the trouble that it is in. If you only have 22 minutes to inform and educate your viewers, are you capable of actually informing or educating them on any one subject much less a range of them?
“It’s a very different editorial process when you have 24 hours to fill as opposed to 22 minutes,”
I’ve said it before and will continue saying it, the networks should simply abandon the evening news format and refocus the resources on a next generation online offering (think of something like Hulu but exclusively focused on news content), and supporting the local affiliates who are already well into failure mode.
UPDATE: The other thing that I could not help but notice is the developing cabal of dismiss’ists who say because Glenn Beck is an entertainer that his program should be discounted insofar as it’s ability to present news. I am seeing this with greater frequency, the traditional media saying “well they are just cable” or “that’s not news, it’s entertainment” or “we are journalists, not bloggers” as if you need some regulatory certification or accreditation in order to do journalism. What the traditional news business can’t seem to stomach is that their profession isn’t that complex after all and their historical barrier for entry was not access but distribution, which in our age is not a steep barrier to overcome at all.