We’re always leery of any writer or article that spells out “the end” of anything. But in the case of Tom Rosenstiel’s The End of ‘Network News’ on WashingtonPost.com, we found an exception to the rule. Rosenstiel has excellent street cred with us as the director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and co-author of The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect.
Read the piece and see if you don’t agree. Here’s a few excerpts to get you started:
"What happened this summer, and particularly last week, is likely to be recalled as the end of the era of network news. At the very least, mark this as the moment when the networks abdicated their authority with the American public.
“Networks were consequential—and serious in purpose. While newspaper people are loath to admit it, TV journalism at its best could tell stories more powerfully than print.
“Now, with their decision to forgo any meaningful coverage of the conventions, the networks have signified—despite whatever rhetoric they offer—that the prestige and influence of their news divisions no longer matter much to them.
“No wonder the public turned elsewhere. In effect, the networks’ owners have altered their brands. They have signaled that they are now almost entirely economic institutions.”