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When a Shared Language is Bad News

Viewers of British television news should rejoice that they do not share a common language with their European neighbours. If they did, they might find they get more news from abroad than do from home on the evening news. News is expensive to gather and many Canadian news broadcasters find it easier and cheaper to fill their programming with trash and trivia from the United States. Recently a runaway train carrying volatile fuel exploded in the middle of a small Quebec town killing more than a dozen people and devastating the main shopping street. But what did one of the news broadcasts here in Edmonton use for its out-of-town news item? A plane crash in California that killed two people. Almost nightly the poor viewer of the TV news is bombarded with crap from the United States that the local Canadian station probably wouldn’t even bother sending a film crew to itself. But thanks to news affiliate deals, the American trivia is free.  American TV viewers have depressingly little interest in overseas news, so broadcasts there are filled with navel-gazing, mind-numbing, local dross. The sad thing is that the internet has pretty much killed print media and is starting to make inroads into television advertising revenue. This means even less money will be spent on the gathering of TV news.  Trivia and celebrity so-called news, both of which are dirt-cheap and often even free, will become more prevalent. TV news was already suffering because many of their news stories, the ones that took some digging out, had been scalped from that morning's newspaper. But newspapers do not have the news gathering resources they once had thanks to internet sites which gave the news they had gathered away for free. What is going to happen now that those real journalists are becoming rarer than hens’ teeth? Someone told me yesterday that they can get all the news they need from blogs.  To my mind blogs are not that reliable. Many of the bloggers have hidden agendas and some "insider" bloggers are not even who they claim to be.

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