I try to keep this blog focused on PR and Marketing, but I’ve got to make a comment on a media trend that’s becoming more and more difficult to deal with. I’m fed up with the non-stop crisis reporting.
September 11th was a terrible event and a true turning point in the trajectory of our nation. However it seems like ever since that horrible day, the cable news networks (and in their wake the local news and papers) have been trying to feed the ratings beast and fill that gaping maw of round-the-clock coverage with a never ending series of scandals and blown-out-of-proportion disasters. Remember Elian Gonzales? How about Terry Schiavo, Drew Petersen, Octomom, etc? Most recently the networks made it sound like the residents of Fargo, ND, needed to build an ark and wait for the end of the world to fall on them. Except… it didn’t happen. There was some rain, an some damage, but people did what they had to do and moved on.
I used to be a journalist, actually made a living at it too. I live and breathe media as a PR flack, and I understand how news cycles work. However the combination of “feed the beast” news programming and the war between mediums has created a situation where bad situations get blown up into major catastrophes, which causes panic and perpetuates the problem. I believe that’s exactly what happened with this economic downturn. Every seven years or so the economy goes soft. However reporters screaming about “the next great depression” certainly caused some damage to the American psyche and made the situation worse.
I’m seeing very strong signs that this thing is starting to get better. People are spending money again, business is picking up for nearly everyone I speak with. Are we out of the woods? Not quite yet… but things are certainly looking up from my perspective.
So what’s next? Smile. Be positive. Go out to dinner. Wax your car and go for a drive. Get back to the important stuff, working hard and having fun. Hopefully one day soon the newsdesk editors I pitch on a regular basis will start doing some positive stories and we can all get back to normal. Save the scary music and crisis graphs for the unfortunate day when they’re actually appropriate.