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Topic section: News – does more mean better?
TOPIC SECTION:
News – does more mean better?
In our daily lives we are bombarded by a constant stream of news stories and images. We can now choose to receive our news
Picture: 02A_116332.jpg
The first autocue prompter system for television presenters, television stories are read and checked by several different editors before they reach the public.
Credit: Copyright © BBC
 via print, radio, television, the Internet, e-mail or mobile phone. But while the quantity and variety of news sources has increased dramatically, has there been a corresponding improvement in the quality and breadth of information offered to the consumer? Some would claim that there has been a decline in the quality of news reporting.

For example, the use of new media has encouraged a more ‘flexible’ approach to checking the accuracy of news stories and the subsequent correction of any factual errors. Newspapers have traditionally placed great

Broadcasters often choose instead to string out the same few stories to ludicrous lengths with endless repetition

 importance on publishing corrections, but this practice has not carried over to the Internet. Websites, even those linked with ‘traditional’ news suppliers such as newspapers or broadcasters, usually do not acknowledge their mistakes; they are simply removed from the site. The situation is not helped by the fact that most websites also have a less rigorous editorial policy. Newspaper and television stories are read and checked by several different editors before they reach the public. In contrast, it is not unusual for stories to be entered directly on to a website by the journalists themselves, without the mediation of an editor.
Picture: 02C_1983-5236_0418.jpg
BBC monitoring station known as the 'listening room', where monitors would listen to and report on foreign news broadcasts.
Credit: NMPFT/Syndication International


The proliferation of websites and 24-hour TV news channels has created a massive and continuous demand for news. However, while consumers receive a veritable flood of information, this is often provided without any context or analysis, so that they receive very little in the way of knowledge.

There is certainly no shortage of news but, rather than broaden the range of their coverage to take advantage of this, broadcasters often choose instead to string out the same few stories to ludicrous lengths with endless repetition. Keith Olbermann, an American prime-time news presenter, voiced his frustrations when covering the Clinton–Lewinsky affair: ‘Virtually every night, for an hour, sometimes two, I have presided over discussions…so intricate, so repetitive, that they have assumed the characteristics of the medieval religious scholars arguing…over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.’

 
 
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Topic section: Bad news travels fast?
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Thanks to modern technology, news now travels at the speed of light. A scoop is exclusive to one news provider for only a few seconds and deadlines become meaningless. Welcome to the world of breaking news!  > more

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Topic section: ‘It’s news... but not as we know it’ – the future of news
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New technology and new media are rapidly changing the nature of 'the news'. In the future, the actual news stories will remain the same, but the way we receive this news will be very different.  > more
 
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