News for 19yo women is a different kind of news

On ProducerMatthew’s Tumblr I saw this quote from Scott Pelley, the CBS news anchor, in the Montreal Gazette.  I have bolded the part I find most interesting:

“Original reporting and a unique insight into the news are things that span all generations,” Pelley said. “Why shouldn’t a young person be interested in those things, just as much as a person my age? We believe doing a proper newscast and telling the story correctly, great storytelling in the tradition of 60 Minutes, are the kind of things that are going to bring in a wide, wide section of the public. Every single day we get together and ask, ‘What are the most important things that happened in the world today? How can we cover them? How can we tell the story and give it a unique insight?’ Those are the standards we use. We do not sit around asking ourselves, ‘Is this going to appeal to a 19-year-old?’ or, ‘Is that going to appeal to a woman?’ We are covering the news.”

Quotes like this are always interesting to me.  If you are an older man, you are considered part of the audience – that’s natural, it’s assumed, you are a viewer.  Plain old “news” does not pander to you but that news is what just so happens to count as verifiable “news” to people like Pelley (funny how he imagines the obvious or normal audience to be made up of people just. like. him).

But if a news program dares to venture into news that someone would primarily consider important or relevant to a 19yo or a woman, then that is a special audience who needs their own special version of news.  Because it couldn’t possibly be that CBS would ever air a story on their network that is primarily important or relevant to a 19yo or woman and say, “Why shouldn’t an old person be interested in these things? Why wouldn’t a man care about this?”

While Pelley and the CBS people may actually care very much about providing stories that appeal to huge swaths of the viewing public and try not to, in fact, favor one type of story over another OR imagine their audience’s demographics in a specific, limited manner – I would argue that this quotes shows that those things aren’t true.

I mean, seriously – why won’t those 19yos and those women just shut up and listen to the “NEWS” that affects us all?


One thought on “News for 19yo women is a different kind of news

  1. Well, this is a timely post. The mister and I were just having a discussion about “news.” He was asserting that news is objective and therefore TRUTH, whereas I was asserting that news is filtered, and the filter (reporter, editor, media, etc.) is biased, and therefore news is a slice of truth, but not TRUTH. I stand by my position, ESPECIALLY in light of these sorts of comments. Ugh.

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