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
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