Sunday, March 26, 2006

Frank Rich on Getting the Real News

The February 24, 2006 edition of the Texas Observer had a super interview with New York Times columnist Frank Rich, which included the latter's views on public demand for hard news instead of entertainment. Here's an exerpt to pique your interest:
It’s not simply that FOX [News] is right wing; that really isn’t the big point. The big point of all of them is that they’re going to give the audience what it wants and what gets the highest rating. So it will always be an abducted young woman, shark attacks, or Monica Lewinsky .... Do I think that there is an audience for something higher? Of course there is. But it's a niche audience .... We live in an odd situation right now .... You have traditional mainstream media terrified by the technological developments, intimidated by the government and the rise of the very vocal critics of the blogosphere. It can’t last indefinitely. There comes a point, for instance, when people are going to want news about what’s really going on in Iraq. They’re going to want news about what’s really going on with the next Enron. They’re going to want to know what is really going on with global warming. There is a market for that. It may not be in primetime, but people will want it. Someone will supply it, someone will figure out how to make money doing it and how to distribute it.
That will be the supply that matches my demand.

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