This is one of several reasons I don't really focus on television news networks. I'm also not happy that talk show hosts and ideologically biased media outlets masquerading are treated as legitimate news stations, despite their huge track records of factual inaccuracies (and being brazenly unapologetic about it as well). US news networks focus too much on celebrity gossip, and report on things which "could be" instead of "what has happened."
Totally agree. A few points I see as bottom line rules for a newspaper or tv news station to be worth its price (or the time to read/watch it):
1. I don't want to hear just comments that could have been heard over a drink with the neighbours or a coffee break at work. With pro reporting and paid comments it's got to be something substantially more than that, more initiated, more in-depth, better written.
2. NO fictionalized reports of stuff that only happened in the journalist's or pundit's head, or PR writers and ideologically driven folks (think-tanks, political bloggers, minister's spokesmen etc) clearly picking shots at their favourite straw men without getting called out on it. Or more on the silly side, invented interviews or pretend reports with/by long dead famous people about current news or fashion trends.
3. If you're writing a dozen pages about the reality tv show instalments that went on air in the last two days, and "what really happened when the cameras were not running" (though it actually happened months ago when the series was shot, it's told as if it ocurred yesterday) tell it to somebody else, I'm not paying.
4. No pandering to celebrities or executives who are doing "storytelling" or defending what they did last week and getting a free run.
5. Words like "shocked", "humiliated", "owned", "wrestling it out", "knocked out in public" when one is reporting about fairly ordinary brushes or rethorical flourishes during a tv debate don't belong.
And the trouble is, most big newspapers are breaking some or all of those rules all the time...
Back right on topic, just saw that the UK Daily Mail
has a big article out called When Death came to Sandy Hook
, a minute-by-minute account, written like a story up close and with the dead kids and their teachers as front persons, illustrated with big portrait pics of the children. Talk about tasteless and speculative pseudo-reporting.