deadlines amuse me

exploring how the world works and why it works that way …

Archive for October 2009

Fox beats CNN in prime-time news, but so what?

leave a comment »

CNN’s prime-time ratings — those hours between 7 and 11 p.m. that command premium advertising rates — have fallen sharply. CNN, reports The New York Times and MSNBC, now trails three of its principal competitors, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and its in-house competitor, HLN (formerly Headline News).

CNN’s ratings in the prime 25-54 demographic fell 77 percent in the last 12 months. Finger-pointers and blame-gamers abound. The Times‘ Bill Carter calls the last-place performance of CNN’s “signature host” Anderson Cooper “alarming” at the 10 p.m. slot. Charles Warner of mediacurmudgeon.com writes at HuffPo that Fox and MSNBC may have outbid CNN for favorable channel positions. Others, like Bill Gorman of tvbythenumbers.com, thinks CNN lost its substantial advantage gained from its political coverage from 2006 to 2008.

But seasoned TV pundits are missing a significant point lost in the blizzard of analyses of the cable news rating wars.
Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 30, 2009 at 7:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Loss of newspaper environmental reporters costly to the public

leave a comment »

On the same day that The New York Times said (buried in its Media Decoder blog) that it would cut 100 newsroom jobs (again), Columbia University said it would not accept applications next year for its dual-degree graduate program in environmental journalism. The former is no surprise; the latter is a sad sign of the impact of newsroom job cuts on what news gets reported — or not.

In a letter to faculty, the directors of the program wrote:

As you know, media organizations across the county are in dire financial straits and thousands of journalists’ jobs have been eliminated. Science and environment beats have been particularly vulnerable. Although our graduates have done well in their careers, even those still employed are finding few opportunities to do the kind of substantive reporting for which the dual degree program has trained them, as they scramble to do their own work plus that of laid-off colleagues. [emphasis added]

The ability of newspapers to report credibly and capably on news other than sports, entertainment, business and politics has been severely undercut by the loss of several thousand journalists over the past three years. In the case of environmental issues, such as climate change, the loss is incalculable.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 19, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Does the ROI on a degree in journalism affect choice of career?

with one comment

A recent edition of Forbes magazine explores the ROI — return on investment — of the cost of attending the nation’s more prestigious schools of business. Generally speaking, graduates of these top 75 schools need 4 to 4 1/2 years to recoup tuition, fees and foregone compensation.

Part of my job as a journalism professor is to recruit students. Because I was a journalist, I’m interested in finding bright, hard-working young men and women who’d like to follow the calling of the public service mission of journalism. (I remain optimistic, perhaps foolishly.)

Parents of prospective students, of course, routinely ask: “What’s your record on job placement?” That I can tell them, based on surveys of our grads six months after matriculation. (And it’s an excellent record, too.)

But here’s the question I dread:
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized