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.