News for feeling not thinking

John Clarke at the ABC on modern media:

. . . JOHN CLARKE: Well we need to change our business, Bryan, we need to provide our readers with a different kind of experience.

BRYAN DAWE: And how you gonna do that?

JOHN CLARKE: Well instead of analysing the news, Bryan, and encouraging people to think very deeply about what’s going on in their world, we are gonna try and put people in touch more with the way they feel about what might perhaps be happening in the world.

BRYAN DAWE: You’re gonna create feelings within the community?

JOHN CLARKE: We’re gonna put people in touch with their feelings in a way that helps create a community.

BRYAN DAWE: So you’re gonna frighten people?

JOHN CLARKE: No, we’re not gonna frighten people. Bryan. It could be a very warm feeling. Could be a Royal wedding, for example – lovely, lovely warm, warm feeling. A kid could get a cat out of a tree.

BRYAN DAWE: And you’d report that?

JOHN CLARKE: We would report that.

BRYAN DAWE: How do you do that?

JOHN CLARKE: In a way, Bryan, that puts people in touch with the way they feel.

BRYAN DAWE: With their responses?


BRYAN DAWE: And how do you know what their responses are?

JOHN CLARKE: Well we tell them what their responses are, Bryan.

BRYAN DAWE: So you frighten people about stuff?

JOHN CLARKE: No, we’re not always frightening them. But, look, I mean, we could get a famous TV chef to go out and cook in a refuge for the homeless. It could be – it’s not frightening, people, Bryan. It could be a warm feeling. . . .

BRYAN DAWE: So why are these things happening?

JOHN CLARKE: Well why do you think they’re happening?


JOHN CLARKE: Yeah. Call now, Bryan. Have your say. We wanna hear from you.

BRYAN DAWE: Well I don’t know why they’re happening.

JOHN CLARKE: You don’t know why they’re happening. They’re angry.

BRYAN DAWE: I’m confused.

JOHN CLARKE: You’re confused. Well how confused are you? A little bit, very or don’t get me started? I mean, ring now, Bryan. Vote. Call us.

BRYAN DAWE: I don’t wanna vote about my confusion. I want some information.

JOHN CLARKE: We’ll give you information. We’ve got plenty of information.

BRYAN DAWE: Oh, come on, your newspapers don’t offer information.

JOHN CLARKE: If you go to the bottom of our page, Bryan, and put your email address in, we’ll send you some information.

BRYAN DAWE: They’re advertisements.

JOHN CLARKE: It’s not advertisements, Bryan, it’s top-quality information. . . .

Modern news is not always, but too often, aimed at eliciting an emotional response rather than provoking thought or even just informing.

The media is a business and that’s what pays the bills.


4 Responses to News for feeling not thinking

  1. Andrei says:

    Modern news is not always, but too often, aimed at eliciting an emotional response rather than provoking thought or even just informing.

    It’s worse than that – the News is being used to deceive and manipulate the population.

    What you are told and what’s omitted, the imagery that is used and so forth.

    It’s 12 years since Beslan – lets see if that is reported on tonight’s News and if so how

  2. Mr E says:

    Over time I think media bias is become all too apparent to viewers. Both right and left bias.

    I am fascinated at how openly this is conveyed and I guess it is a result of seeking an emotional response. Bias has become obvious.

    Simply speaking the media is only responding to competition, and emotion seems to engage viewers.

    It is hard to see this situation changing because it is a fundamental human process.

    I think blogs are a great example of this. Many are motivated by politics and more and more people are using this form of journalism to seek information or news. My main reason to come to this blog is to read news.

    We are going to have to live in a world where media is political. Where some people will get only half messages. It does concern me.

    My own approach is to seek both right and left media stories.
    I have attempted to engage on both right and left blogs, however nearly every left blog has blocked me, or made it impossible for me to comment.

    It is an interesting phenomenon, as I think I am respectful in my interaction.

    I think it shows just how political some blogs can be. They are so political they don’t want the opposite message to be heard.

    Here, alternative respectful views are presented. And that is great IMO.

  3. Same here, Mr E. I come here for rural information from a reputable source.

  4. Richard says:

    Mr E, yes. News these days is like this.Generated by the media presented, in a dramatic tabloid type fashion to please advertisers and increase readership to keep a publication going. Blogs pick the the good bits of their choice and publish – great, you get specialist knowledge without the hype cloaking facts.

    However you cannot dismiss the traditional media because without them there would be no news. Here,the NZ Herald is becoming the UK’s “Sun” for the “unwashed” and Stuff is following quickly behind it.
    Incidentally, newspapers need 50% of their daily content to be covered by advertising.

    I have a book written by a Cambridge Professor entitled ” French Pulpit Oratory 1675- 1719″ It says that most of the news of the time was through the church at Sunday worship. Thought this an opportunity but alas the my local churches do not seem to have my enthusiasm for the idea.

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