For once rather than to write laughing at the silliness of the left I come to praise a piece in the Guardian, as they argue that 24 hour news channels are well past their use by date and actually increasingly irrelevant to the viewing public. I now have access to sky news on our T box but I never bother watching it and to be frank the actual news coverage on the ABC News 24 is rather dull, a tedium that is only broken by the fact that they do have a few programs that are talking heads discussing the issues de jour.
I think that this prediction has legs :
A news service for the next two decades
The legacy of 24-hour news channels is holding back broadcasters in adapting to the potential of the digital age. If you gave a digital news operation even a fraction of the tens of millions of pounds currently spent annually on a news channel, just think of what you could achieve.
A truly news-on-demand service, with no heritage – not reusing TV material, nor reusing print – could be genuinely ground-breaking, reconstructing a news operation and creating a new relationship with audiences and consumers.
This is starting to be recognised in the US:
• CNN’s Jeff Zucker has planned major changes recognising there is “not enough news” to fill a news channel
• CBS is reported to be developing an online streamed news channel, separate from broadcast channels
• Al-Jazeera in the US has developed AJ+ as an online-only source of video news
• Yahoo has recruited one of America’s biggest news names in Katie Couric to “anchor” their news home page
• Digital companies such as Vice and Buzzfeed are recruiting significant numbers of foreign correspondents and opening global bureaux – built around the web, not satellites
Elsewhere there are fewer signs of experimenting with continuous TV news. ITV, unhindered by a news channel, reconfigured their website into a live stream that is both innovative and regularly beats the competition. The BBC’s director of news, James Harding, has acknowledged the need for more R&D by creating a “Newslabs” team looking at data and visual journalism. But perhaps the industry needs a bolder vision.
Its news Comrades, but not as we have known it