Another enjoyable dissection from Charlie Brooker this week – and I’m delighted he’s reserved his ire this time for the idiocy of 24-hour news channels.

Highlighting several examples of the folly of rolling news programmes as they try desperately to fill every available second, even if they are clueless about the story they are allegedly covering, Brooker’s analysis is spot on.

I interviewed Channel 4 newsman Jon Snow a few years back whilst working for a previous newspaper and he dismissed 24-hour TV news with four familiar little words – “never wrong for long”.

No-one is perfect and obviously there is an element of those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones when criticising other media.

But, generally, the quality of TV news programming in this country has dropped considerably in the last decade.

Channel 4 News is often the exception and Sky News tries hard, even if it comes up short a fair bit.

But the “never wrong for long” description is never far from my thoughts when watching most coverage, which invariably slips into the info-tainment category that puts style ahead of substance every time.

What makes it all the more annoying is that they even fall down on the style side of things, opting for a superficiality that is so characteristic of our celeb-obsessed culture.

Little wonder there is so much confusion, ignorance and scepticism about so many issues – environmental policies, immigration, the credit crunch – when one of our main sources of information is doing such a poor job of covering the stories.

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4 responses »

  1. JanetCanHas4Kittehs says:

    Dear Paul Groves.

    You probably have no idea who I am – but this link was on an ICHC picture from April 07! And I was wondering if you are one of the iCHC Pauls.

    We have the black paul – who lives somewhere near the South Coast in England. That all we know.

    And the blue paul – who, I think was only there one time that I knew of and I got him confused with black paul.

    Just thought I’d ask. Because I’m always cuirous!!
    Janet

  2. Paul Groves says:

    Janet: I’m neither of the Pauls you mention.
    I’ve been mystified by that link myself. I think it is one of the WordPress “possibly related posts” that just ins’t related in any way whatsoever!
    I’m picking up a fair few hits as a result of the link though ;-)

  3. Ursula says:

    Janet, this Paul is decidedly red, or yellow mellow in the morning.

    U

  4. What a bizarre clash of memes; Jon Snow, Charlie Brooker, and Icanhascheezburger all wrapped into one blog post. All of this would not have been possible without the internet.

    Except for Jon Snow. He would have been possible without the internet, and he alone would survive without it. But everything else I have mentioned would be DOOMED if the internet was to stop.

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