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TV On The Scene All The Time. Is It Healthy?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:40 am


You will have to cut and paste this one, but here are 150 words or less from Reuters think-tank reporting.

I guess the question they are trying to raise is whether there is too much information on disasters and potential disasters because of the 24-hour coverage of just about anything that will draw a viewer to the tube.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - On Wednesday it was a Learjet circling above Spirit of St. Louis Airport with mechanical problems and nine people on board.
On Tuesday it was a Midwest Airlines plane making an emergency night landing with sparks flying from its faulty landing gear at Boston's Logan International Airport.
Suspense in the skies from airliners with problems is fast becoming a staple of cable news television in the United States, aided by satellite-equipped news crews from local affiliates that allow the images to be shown live.
"Problems like this (faulty landing gear) are fairly rare, but seem more prevalent than they are" because they are now being shown as they happen, said Chris Dancy of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
"It's like the freeway chases of a few years ago -- it's good pictures, it's compelling and there's easy access to the pictures."
The trend began in September, when the dramatic landing of a JetBlue airliner with failed nose gear transfixed live TV audiences who had watched it circle above Los Angeles International Airport burning off fuel.
Even the 140 passengers were able to follow most of the drama on in-flight satellite television.
Neither that nor any of the other airliner scares since has ended in disaster. Darcy said pilots were trained to handle situations such as when landing gear does not extend as a "routine emergency".
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RE: TV On The Scene All The Time. Is It Healthy?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:56 am

The 24-hour news cycle that has resulted from the explosion of cable and internet outlets has had both good and bad results.

The good is, of course, the ability for most of us to get news quickly when something is happening. But that is counterbalanced by the outlets' frenzy to "be first" or at least not get left behind. And the result of that is shoddy and sensationalist reporting.

I live in LA and watched the "drama" of the Jet Blue landing for nearly an hour prior to touchdown. Unbelievably bad reporting. Essentially a bunch of talking heads with no idea of what they were talking about.

There once was a time when reporters were "on deadline". They had until that deadline to gather facts and clarify their story. Now, they need to get on the air immediately, and frequently have not had time to get their act together.

 bigmouth   bigmouth 

Add to that the possibility that they may be broadcasting live a major tragedy, and I don't think it's very healthy.
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RE: TV On The Scene All The Time. Is It Healthy?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:18 am

A real ethical problem is if in any of these incidents, what if something went bad with people getting killed on live TV.
It's like the TV choppers following police chases to their far too often tragic and deadly ends. It's also like people who watch car racing for the crashes (but hoping no one gets serouisly hurt). Or gacking at an car accident when you pass by it. Then too, when you consider the crummy programs on TV most of the time, a real life human drama is more interesting to watch. I know I was facinated by last nights incident and the Jet Blue incident, but I like aircraft/airlines more than most people and was hoping (and got) a happy ending. What if there had been a chopper following the Helios flight in Greece earlier this year, providing worldwide TV news coverage of it's flight and it's crash. That is the problem presented by such coverage and something one should reconsider as healthy.
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RE: TV On The Scene All The Time. Is It Healthy?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:52 am


I don't know if this is healthy. Over here in Europe I watch Formula-1 and pay special attention to the first corner where the crashes will happen after takeoff. That said, I think the whole world has a very unhealthy attitude of wanting to see disasters.

Today's live TV provides that for them. It's like 911, Emergency, ER, etc. The couch potatoes want this in front of them. I'm not arguing with you. I will often sit glued to CNN or BBC waiting for the latest.

But I think the main points of the report is how we have changed. We want the news now where we can sit on the couch with a six-pack and watch a developing story instead of watching a cooking show.
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RE: TV On The Scene All The Time. Is It Healthy?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:05 am

When everything works out like the Jetblue and Midwest incidents there is no problem. But imagine that type of situation where everything didn't work out, millions of people would be watching an air disaster LIVE on CNN! I don't know how I feel about that. I must admit though that I've been glued to the television watching all of these real life dramas unfold.
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RE: TV On The Scene All The Time. Is It Healthy?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:51 pm

Let me give some more examples where it may not be healthy to have live TV.
First of all, the 9/11 attacks, were we saw 100's of people killed on live TV, including people jumping from the upper parts of the towers, and the collaspe of the towers, as well as the aftermath on the Pentagon.
Many of us have seen the tape or saw the live coverage of the Air Florida crash in DC including successful and failed attempts of rescue. I recall it as one of the first breaking stories of it's type I recall seeing live on the then young CNN. It was the start of the live coverage of an airline tradegy. We saw a few years later (I believe today is the anniversary date) of the results on live TV only hours after the terror act of PA 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
I saw both race cars drivers Sienna (sp? F-1) and Dale Earnhardt (NASCAR - Daytona 500) killed on live TV. With those many examples, one has to be concerned about the potential unhealthy viewing of death we can see on live TV.
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RE: TV On The Scene All The Time. Is It Healthy?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:11 pm

They had me hooked one morning when a NIKE corporate jet had it's right main gear stuck under the belly and was circling PDX for about three hours or so (about a month ago this occured) and the plane was able to get the gear fixed and landed safely, very anticlimatic. The whole time I was thinking "Are they really hoping this plane doesn't get its gear fixed so they could show NIKE execs burning up in a private jet fire?"
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe

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