Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Interactivity that's inane

Yes, interactivity is good, but can we please call a halt to news programs reading the email reaction of some random viewer? It simply adds nothing to the product. I, as another random viewer, am not the least interested in what some stray person lurking on their computer thinks. It's not that I don't care what others think, but without knowing more about the person, there's simply no context to convey anything more.

At least with online forums incorporated into, say, the local newspaper's website or the local news, then there's the potential to create a little dialogue and perhaps to learn more about regular posters to put comments into context. Often that degenerates into extreme childishness, especially on sports and politics sites, but there's a potential for more. Reading silly emails, not so much.

If the local news feels a need to incorporate opinions in their broadcasts--they certainly schedule enough time that they need to fill up--give me a reason to care about the person's opinion. Experts are fine--forget the fear of elitist complaints, and give me someone with intelligence and an understanding of the issue that I lack. Or, if you want to convey what's going on with average people in the area, gather a group for a bit more in-depth reactions, and keep that group changing every week or every day...but devote enough time that it's not a meaningless sound bite.

Otherwise it's no more than an empty gesture, a pretense of listening just so you can fill the bloated time slots.

2 comments:

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

I agree. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, if that person didn't take the time to actually think through their opinion or they have some professional background in the topic, I don't necessarily care what their opinion is. The news has become more about entertainment and less about actual news over the years. It's getting harder and harder to find out the facts through the wall of noise.

Daniel Ausema said...

Yeah, there's tremendous entertainment competition in news, probably always has been to a certain extent. Alas.