Along with the infotainment factor I talked about in my previous post, now I will speak of how it fails in the longterm business sense. Infotainment sounded like a great idea; however, if the people eat too much ice cream, they will get sick. Here are some reasons it will not work longterm:
(1) If the public is only fed this infotainment news, that is all they will expect, so journalists would have to continually give them bigger and better which would be so hard to keep it newsworthy.
(2) Infotainment can destroy the news organization’s authority to deliver serious news. Trust in the news is a huge part of what journalists try to establish, so providing too much of an entertainment factor could ruin this effort. Just as comedy is not taken seriously, journalism would not be either.
(3) Providing infotainment plays to the strengths of other media, not your own. The other media types can cover the pure entertainment, journalists first duty is to give the public the truth.
Here is a hard job for journalists. How do you find the correct balance between giving the public what they want and what they need? How do you make it captivating and fascinating, without taking away from the original story? Journalists do not want a boring news story because nobody listens when they become bored; I know this by experience. When boredom hits, people stop listening and that is when communication fails. Communication is the goal here, that is why journalism is a Communications major! The book claims journalist to be infotainment and story telling. Journalists are hired because they are good at this job.
Since I already spoke of much of this topic in the previous blog, I will talk briefly about the topic from the book, “Mind of a Journalist.” Along with the balance of storytelling and infotainment, journalists almost must find it difficult to balance being a part of the entertainment or news without being a type of celebrity themselves. This is difficult if the journalist is well known because journalists do not want to change the scene by their presence.
“It is hard enough, they say, to separate news from entertainment without having journalists themselves thought of as part of the entertainment scene.” (Mind of a Journalist, 107)
It’s an extremely hard balance because those reporters that we do recognize and know well, can be known to be trustworthy so we look to them for the news. I had never previously thought of them having a difficult time reaching the news because they are recognized. Than again, the public trusts them so it may be a good thing when they show up to the scene because people know that certain journalist will deliver the truth.
On the other hand, if the public does not trust them and they are merely a face in the journalism world, that would indeed disrupt the job of journalists and news writing. In addition to that problem, celebrity journalists usually like to focus on the celebrities. We have seen celebrity journalists since the start of journalism and it will not end now. As everything else, we must simply take them for how they are. Know which ones are news worthy and which ones are more entertainment.