TV news producer says all “news” is driven by ratings

TV news producer says all “news” is driven by ratings

The editorial process of selecting news stories is strongly influenced by ratings, not importance or value, say a national TV news producer who just left her job.


As new details have become available about antibodies, a vaccine, or how COVID actually spreads, producers still want to focus on the politics.”

Most media reports about Covid-19 devolve into political commentary. Even on the face mask issue, it is presented almost exclusively as a left versus right issue – even though it obviously is not.

(See my own data page for my state here – you’ll get a different perspective).

Rather than context, history, trends and facts, news is about emotions and feelings:

Context and factual data are often considered too cumbersome for the audience. There may be some truth to that (our education system really should improve the critical thinking skills of Americans) – but another hard truth is that it is the job of journalists to teach and inform, which means they might need to figure out a better way to do that

Source: Personal news: why I’m now leaving MSNBC

I have been reading published peer reviewed papers regarding Covid-19, and tracking data myself, and doing my own analysis – and there is a disconnect between reality and the news to the point that “news” is a waste of time.

There are some good people in the business who do care, but may not be permitted to do what is needed. Unfortunately, its like Covid-19 – we are forced to assume that everyone is sick with Covid-19 at all times, including ourselves, so we must wear a face mask.

The same is true with news – we have no idea which reporters and editors are good so we end up having to assume that all are terrible, biased and focused on unimportant, ratings boosting trivia and emotional anecdotal stories.

You can be absolute certain that newspapers study every click on their pages, and TV news studies every click on their web sites and video plays, and on social media. And works to give more of what generates eyeballs to advertisers.

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