Keeping it Real…

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TV News … Faltering in the U.K. Too.

September 30th, 2015 · 51 Comments

Some of my former colleagues in the media get really upset with me when I  shine the spotlight on the decline of television news audiences.

And we have often disagreed as to the cause: they attribute much of it to more numerous choices of channels, the Internet, demographics and loss of interest in current events/news;  I agree with all of that to some extent, but also place a huge responsibility for the decline on broadcasters themselves, too many boring or meaningless stories, poor visuals, poor reporting, poor questioning, poor writing … in other words a poverty of quality.

Which somehow makes some of the, mad! :)

Happily, though, I hear regularly from many colleagues who agree with my assessment, regale me with stories (some sad, but many humorous) of behind the scenes deteriorations, and urge me to keep it up.

I have always known this is not a problem unique to BC or Canada or the U.S. …but now the spotlight has turned on the UK, where shrinking TV news audiences are also drawing attention.

Viewers there are also being turned off …and are turning off.

Here’s a story that recently appeared in The Guardian … a left-leaning, socially activist orientated newspaper …certainly worth a read:

And happy to see the writer cited the same criticisms surrounding quality that I had voiced!

Harv Oberfeld


(Reminder: Another debate in French takes place FRIDAY  and will be televised on CPAC at 5 p.m. Pacific)

→ 51 CommentsTags: British Columbia · International · Media

Two Leaders and a University Student

September 28th, 2015 · 40 Comments

The problem for Justin Trudeau is I watched the General Assembly meeting at the UN earlier in the day.

There was Obama, Putin, Rouhani, Xi Jinping … leaders of their nations addressing the world.

True, nothing will likely change from anything they said in that forum: but as I watched the Munk debate on foreign affairs, I could not imagine Trudeau standing at that podium, representing Canada with any credibility … at least, not yet.

And that was his problem during the tv debate as well.

Trudeau reminded me of those student leaders from my university days … enthusiastic, fresh, idealistic, even charismatic to his peers,  but still wet behind the ears: far too inexperienced, emotional, naïve and impulsive …. in this case, not ready to head a medium or large corporation, let alone a country.

He couldn’t even contain himself after agreeing to stick to the rules regarding  ”no interruptions”. In fact, he couldn’t stop himself, even after the audience started shouting and booing him when he couldn’t contain himself.

For their part, both Tory Leader Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair very substantially DID follow the agreed-upon format … and this made for actual discussion …. the best debate so far.

And since you could actually concentrate on what they were saying … not just trying to make out a few words above the din … the philosophical, political and ideological differences between the parties were clearly discernible.

Of course, I’m sure none of it changed the minds (or votes) of partisan supporters … but the debates AREN’T aimed at them: they’re aimed at those who are having trouble deciding … and I’d bet this debate DID have an impact on undecided … at least those who managed to track it down and watch.

Can’t wait for the next polls … especially since the latest polls have confirmed  my predictions about the last one … where very different policies on refugees and niqabs were front and centre.

The latest national average: Tories 32% support; Liberals 30.4%; and, NDP 27%.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 40 CommentsTags: International · National