Jon Stewart of the Daily Show recently poked some fun at the 24 hour news networks who are starting to read blogs live while doing the news. Reading blogs could be cool if the hottest topics of the moment were covered, but the 24 hours news services are missing the point because blogs are inherently an online phenomenon.
If the news networks want to harness to power of blogs, they should do so by putting their best journalists on the hottest blog posts of the day, not some second or third rate journalist fresh out of college. Blogs are important because they circulate and propagate news that blog writers and readers think is important, which is the exact opposite of how traditional news works (over-hyping over-doing over-used stories). I mean, daily Michael Jackson stories? Who really cares?
Anyway, back to what Jon Stewart said on the Daily Show about the 24 hour news networks:
They've exploded in popularity because the better blogs provide the kind of frank, uncensored discussion and tenacious fact checking sorely lacking on cable news channels. Well, I have to tell you the cable news channels have responded. Not by improving those areas of the programming, but by airing their same (bad) programming about blogs.
After showing some newscasters literally reading blogs on TV (including one who is reading a "page not found error"), he then says:
By reading the blogs on TV, the 24 hours news networks have combined the visual pizazz of a text file with the deep insight of a 90 second news segment.
He then rips on CNN Inside the Blogs:
You know, when I want hard hitting news, I turn to CNN... who turns to Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.
Lastly, he shows similar clips of newscasters reading blogs on MSNBC Connected Coast-to-Coast. At the very least, it is a cool idea that each of the MSNBC anchors have their own blogs.
Fox News is the only 24 hour news service that does not read blogs online. And I think they should keep it that way. Blogs belong on the blogosphere, not read line-by-line on boring TV shows looking to fill time with fluff.