Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Kalb Report — Ted Koppel

A very interesting conversation with Ted Koppel last Monday at the Kalb report.

Koppel made some really interesting points:

News has become a business. It makes money now where in the past it really didn't. It was supported by the networks. 60 Minutes changed all that. News has become a profit center. And what drives those centers is what the public wants to hear not what they necessarily need to hear.

Today networks are too concerned about being first with something. What lost in that rush to be first is the context of what is taking place. He pointed to the conflict in Gaza. Lots of reports on what was being bombed but not enough on what's the context/background of what is going on.

What sells, especially on cable, yelling at each other or about each other. He pointed out that you can't expect people to reach across the aisle if they are going to be attacked. I'd add that this seems to mainly happen on the right. Or at least the right screams louder about it.

The internet gives us instant access to news and information but you don't know where that information is coming from, what the agenda of the person or persons putting out the information or how accurate the information is. You still need someone to help put it into context.

He also told an interesting story about a search two people did. One was a conservative and one was liberal. They Googled Egypt. They came up with different lists of information on Egypt. The reason was the search engine took into consideration the sites the two guys visited. It gave the results on Egypt based on earlier searches.

A really great evening of conversation.

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