Saturday, January 31, 2015

When the Today Show makes a mistake

It's not often the Today Show makes a mistake...

Well...there was that time...Kathie Lee Gifford dropped a puppy, and the time she forgot Martin Short's wife had died. And there was the time her cohost Hoda Kotb revealed her personal telephone number on air, and just last week, she called the biker community "losers,"warranting an on-air apology.

It seems that the Today Show makes mistakes with relative frequency, and the mistakes mainly happen on the fourth hour–probably from Kathie Lee and Hoda's early morning, weekday consumption of alcohol.

In class last week, we discussed the major media conglomerates and how they affect our consumption of news. The news networks are so large and so encompassing that nearly all the news networks are dominated by the three largest: CNN, Fox, and MSNBC.

It's easy to forget that when these networks make mistakes, they are automatically egregious. The television news market is quite small, and when one company makes a mistake, it's literally heard around the world, or in the least across the United States.

Sometimes their mistakes can impact groups of people. For example, the Today Show reported a story about "vocal fry," or an emerging change in speech patterns. The story referred to an "expert" who spoke on behalf of the scientific community, saying the speech pattern was dangerous and plaguing women. They describe vocal fry as a "low pitch, animal-like sound."

The news story does not present an objective view grounded on the solid foundation of science but provides editorial commentary from a medical correspondent and one linguist. This isn't an "error," but the shallow reporting could reinforce stereotypes against woman.

The push to sell news means reporters are now selling editorialized content, and although it's not technically an "error," it's certainly egregious.

1 comment:

  1. In my view, the vast majority of today's news IS nothing but editorialized comment. That's why I avoid most of it.