erik lundegaard

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Monday July 29, 2013

Reading the Newspaper with George W.S. Trow - V

“Television will not allow you to follow a story. Each broadcast is self-contained; television newspeople are embarrassed if they have to remind you that the story existed yesterday as well. They value and love the episodic possibilities within the news. The only exception is Big Human Interest. If it has the quality of a soap opera--O.J. Simpson, or the plane that exploded mysteriously--then they trust it as a story that will have had the dramatic elements necessary for their formula. (That is, they know the story will not let them down. O.J. Simpson will be a celebrity the whole time of his trial; he wil be pronounced guilty, and that will be dramatic; or he will be pronounced innocent, and that will be even more dramatic. In other words, from their television news point of view, the story has already happened; it's reliable. It can be trusted not to let them down. Television hates stories that turn out to be--you know, disappointing. No cum shot.)”

-- George W.S. Trow, “My Pilgrim's Progress: Media Studies 1950-1998,” pg. 44

Posted at 04:00 PM on Jul 29, 2013 in category Media
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Reading the Newspaper with George W.S. Trow - IV

“Do yourself a favor. Just wait to see if Al Gore is nominated. Wake up the day after the next Democratic Convention and ask a friend, 'Did Gore make it?' My guess is that he will have made it.

”Take the fifty-thousand-word investment you were prepared to make on Gore's election prospects and follow another story--Zaire, par example.“

-- George W.S. Trow, ”My Pilgrim's Progress: Media Studies 1950-1998," pg. 44

Posted at 03:54 PM on Jul 29, 2013 in category Media
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Reading the Newspaper with George W.S. Trow - III

“If you have a personal reason to take an interest in a Baby Bell reaching out to form yet another media conglomerate, sure, read it; but be aware that the deal will ravel, unravel, happen, not happen, be consummated or not consummated, be important or not important, and you will have read ten thousand words. Also notice that the news is written in such a way that all of these 'dramatic' ravelings and unravelings are reported in detail (because they have human interest), but should the thing finally come together, the news will stop. Just when you want to know what's going to happen (the president has won the election; what's he going to do?) the news stops.”

-- George W.S. Trow, “My Pilgrim's Progress: Media Studies 1950-1998,” pg. 43

Posted at 03:50 PM on Jul 29, 2013 in category Media
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Reading the Newspaper with George W.S. Trow - II

“I read every word in the paper about Algeria, Ukraine, and Belarus; these are the Underreported Zones. You should get a feel in the paper for what is underreported and what is overreported. Overreported is Newt Gingrich. One-tenth of one percent  of what has been written about Newt will do you just fine. About Algeria, Ukraine, Belarus, you need to read every word; also Shanghai, Chinese billionaires, and the Russian mafia. Also currency trading.”

-- George W.S. Trow, “My Pilgrim's Progress: Media Studies 1950-1998,” pg. 43

Posted at 03:44 PM on Jul 29, 2013 in category Media
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Reading the Newspaper with George W.S. Trow - I

“There isn't much real news, you know.

”Most news is in relation to what a government (or a unit of government) is willing to let you know about what it is saying or doing in relation to another government or unit of government. You could spend your whole life reading abou the Middle East. You don't want to do that.“

-- George W.S. Trow, ”My Pilgrim's Progress: Media Studies 1950-1998," pg. 42

Posted at 03:40 PM on Jul 29, 2013 in category Media
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