Give Me Dirty Laundry



From the ALFCIO NOW blog:

Have you caught yourself watching a story on a national or local newscast lately and thought, "Wait a minute haven't I seen this before?" or "That's pretty one sided." Or, "That might as well have been a company press release."

More than likely your instincts were right. According to a new study and survey of broadcast news by the Writers Guild of America, East, the quality of broadcast news is rapidly declining and most of the blame is directly attributed to a frenzy of corporate cost-cutting.

The report, Broadcast Newswriters Speak About News Quality, says:

The conglomerates have slashed jobs overall, converted full-timers into part-timers and combined jobs. The result is too many conflicting demands on the few workers who are left, resulting in a lower quality news product.

The study also finds there's one weapon to preserve quality news: a union contract. The paper cites instances in which employees refused to air news that was not fact-checked or was incorrect. Their union membership protected their right to refuse management's insistence to air these inaccurate news stories.

The study is based on in-depth research by the union and a survey of its members working in TV and radio broadcast news on the national and local levels. WGAE newsroom members are producers, writers, assignment desk editors, copy, audio and video editors and researchers and fact checkers.