Do I Provoke You?

by - November 16, 2010

Occasionally we get viewer feedback regarding the inappropriateness of some of our shows' content.
[OK, so it's more like we get a lot of viewer feedback on that subject.]

Older ladies will comment on the slutty suggestive clothes our female anchors wear. And this will happen on days they wear button-up shirts buttoned up to the collar or turtlenecks. Once a lady complained that the morning anchor showed too much leg. [this could have been on a day she had on pants for all I know] Men don't usually complain about stuff like that...

Getting back to the subject at hand: provocative news. To read our viewer feedback, you'd think that's all we cover sometimes. It's too violent, too suggestive, and the list goes on and on.

Remember when all the gay marriage stuff was happening out in California? Of course, we had to include it in our national coverage, and of course we got hate mail because of it. Stuff like, I don't want my kids exposed to issues like these. Newsflash buddy: your kids are being exposed to this in way more places than the news.

We get told that we should censor our coverage of certain things. In this area, anything with sexual leanings is especially targeted, and the earlier in the day it plays the more responses it will get.

In the words of my director, grow up. Get with the times, people. Things are changing, have already changed in a lot of instances. It's not always for the better, but a lot of it is here to stay, i.e. open homosexuality, violence on TV, and racier content. For a television station to stay competitive in today's market, they've got to embrace those risque topics. And let's face it, if they didn't no one would watch their station, including the small-minded people who constantly send in their complaints about the very coverage they can't get enough of.

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  1. I feel provoked. Oh, and this will never change in this region. People in the SE hate seeing anything different. No offense. :P

  2. Great topic, Ashton! Protests over female anchor hem lengths and provocative news content are as old as TV news itself. In my experience more people are hung up about those matters in small to midsize markets. I noticed a big difference in the level of audience sophistication and tolerance when I made the jump to a major metro area.

    It always strikes me as funny what people find objectionable. When I started my TV career in 1971 our sports segment was sponsored by a brand of beer. In the middle of his sportscast every evening, the sports anchor paused to do a live commercial. He produced a bottle of beer, popped the cap off, poured the contents into a glass while the camera got a "beauty shot" closeup, held the glass before him and gazed at it adoringly while he recited his ad copy. Some could argue that linking alcohol consumption with athleticism sent the wrong message to impressionable young viewers. It's ironic that alcohol, tobacco and firearms (violence) never drew as much fire as sex. Back in the 70's church ladies used complain about our anchor women looking slutty just because they stopped wearing blazers and exposed their bare arms by wearing short sleeve blouses. I recently read an article stating that the trend toward glammed up attire for female news readers is becoming more widely accepted and will continue. It went on to say that the look of the male anchor is also changing. Fewer are wearing jackets and ties and are adopting a much more casual, laid back look. My belief, rooted in old school sensibilities, is that these alterations are eroding the credibility of today's newscasters. I don't think ratings will suffer, however, because news anchors (and politicians for that matter) are no longer held to the extremely high standard that they once were. Walter Cronkite was God...and the times they are a changin'...

  3. There's one thing about being respectful on the media, another thing about getting rid of important news altogether, just because you don't agree with it. That's called an agenda. And I hate it. I'm sure there are some things about news in general that should be censored (even though I abhor the idea of censorship) for the sake of the coverage itself. I mean, like in these cases of all these kids going missing and turning up dead. There's a time to talk about it and then there's a time that you need to let the families live in peace... Respectful. That's what it should be.

    This whole post is reason why I want to move somewhere more liberal. I can't stand Georgia, or the South for that matter. I'm intolerant of other people's intolerance.