chapter  1
16 Pages

A day in the life of the world

In the not too distant past many people turned to broadcast news to make sense of a confusing world. Now, though, it seems that it is the world of broadcast news that is topsy-turvy. In the United States, the CBS “Nightly News” programme is a mere darkened screen in homes all across the country as the anchorperson, paid four million dollars a year, fumes in his dressing room. He refuses to go on the air because a late-running tennis match has delayed the start of the broadcast. Hundreds of television journalists are released from their jobs because of budget cuts at all three national commercial television networks. Network newswriters walk out in a labour dispute; 2,000 full-time radio news positions disappear in the US in 1986 alone. Local broadcast stations, using satellite news gathering equipment (SNG), send their own reporters to cover national and international events, reducing their dependence on and the influence of the national networks. Many stations bypass the national networks altogether. The sophistication of news gathering technology grows exponentially, newsreaders’ haircuts become more stylized, and the Congress of the United States holds formal hearings on the crisis in broadcast news.