Roger Mudd gives his two cents

Roger Mudd when he worked for CBS

Roger Mudd, a retired newsman who worked with CBS and with famous journalist Walter Cronkite for years, speaks out about the change in journalism from the Daily Press.com.
Even though television is still watched by many, television news is changing, too. Print media is going online, and according to Mudd, TV news is going soft. He says, “the program begins with maybe 7-8 minutes of news and the rest of the program is kind of soft feature stuff.”
Sadly, viewers attention span keeps getting shorter and shorter. I think it’s important to look at how different types of news are changing, and also to know that every aspect of journalism could very well be different in the near future.
Mudd says, “It’s frustrating and it’s irritating and it’s kind of sad. You know why it is happening, you’re just sorry that it has happened because I think the country deserves better than what it’s getting from commercial television and cable television.”
An interesting point that Mudd brings up is the fact that TV news, such as the 6 o’clock news, is dying, while commentator shows (mostly political) are on the rise. Mudd says, “The downside is, the extreme commentators on the right or the left help give the impression to many Americans that we [journalists] are no longer responsible, we’re proselytizers, all we want to do is push an agenda.” Commentators are getting high ratings on television networks, higher than most news reports. Although they get high ratings, they are not reporting any new news, they are reporting news that has already been released by other journalists.
There is not much that journalists can do in these situations. No matter what we do, commentators are going to get a high television rating, readers are going to get their news instantly from online and viewers will watch TV news for a split second.
All journalists can do is keep writing and keep reporting. “As long as young men and women go into journalism and are dedicated and know how to write and write good stories, there will always be an outlet for that. … There will always be, it seems to me, an outlet for good stories,” Mudd says.

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