Do you think broadcast news on TV is dead because of the Internet? Why or why not?
With the emergence of news broadcasting companies creating websites on the Internet and new sources native to the Internet, some have wondered whether this will now be the new media of choice. Is broadcast news on TV dead? It’s certainly possible, and with the exponential developments with Internet technology, it seems quite probable. However, the answer is no.
While often we see new technology replace the old, in some instances, this does not happen. When the radio was invented, the newspapers did not die (even after the power of the radio was proven by the disastrous 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast). When the television was invented, the radio did not die. As history has proven, while the new technology may overtake the old, it will not kill it. With the task of delivering the news and informing the public, the old technology has always retained something that the new one failed to deliver. While radios and television can bring live and instant information, the newspaper contains much more in depth information in one issue than a radio or television broadcast, and the reader is free to choose what headline to pursue. In addition, the act of reading itself is preserved through the use of newspapers. The radio was a purely auditory device, and thus, it remains popular in cars, and around the house when the visual stimuli of the television was not needed or desired. It also happens to be much easier and convenient to carry around a radio than a huge television screen.
Now, the Internet seems to have taken a revolutionary step combining all previous forms of media. There are articles to read, Podcasts to listen to, videos to watch, and even games to play. However, because of this, it will not kill the television. We will use the Internet to search for specific information, or to interact with Web 2.0, but it’s still a television that sits in our living room. It is a reliable source of information that is available with the pressing of a button. It displays the news without the complexities of the Internet. It is simple and efficient. Just as the radio did not kill the newspaper, and the television did not kill the radio, the Internet is different from the television, not simply an upgrade, and thus, will not kill the television.
The Internet offers an abundance of information to those who know how to use it. Advantages of the Internet include its accessibility and how you can easily find what you want. There also exists a desire to personalize the experience for each individual user. Websites now track users to determine their interests, and propose topics according to these interests. This is where the problem lies. When I’m searching for video clips, listening to music, trying to find sheet music for a song, or even shopping for a new phone, I want this personal interaction that helps me search for what I’m trying to find. I want the Internet to be able to recognize what I’m looking for, and help me locate it. However, when it comes to the news, this is exactly the opposite of what I want. Websites try to propose topics that I’ve shown interest in the past, such as technology, a certain TV show and its actors, or happenings in a particular part of the world, but when I’m watching, reading or listening to the news, I’m not searching for anything specific. I don’t want to have tunnel vision when trying to be informed. To put it quite bluntly, I don’t want someone to tell me what I want to know; I want to be shown everything there is to know. Broadcast news is able to find the most important topics of the day, and show them to a wide audience. It is able to feed me information that I want, and also give me information that I hadn’t considered before that is just as important. The intuitive Internet that is being shaped right now is simply not compatible with the News. Until this changes, broadcast news on TV will not die.
Broadcast news on TV is not dead. It is very much alive and kicking, because we still need and want it. The Internet is simply not on the same plane of existence as the television. While it is good for one thing, it is not good enough for another. The Internet embodies the age of limitless possibilities. It does not represent the stability and duty of informing the public that broadcast television does. It is important to realize that with the evolving capabilities and increasing accessibility of the Internet, it will continue to become a major form of media capable of overtaking previous forms. Right now; however, the Internet is not tuned to deliver a consistent nightly broadcast. At this moment in time, there is no need or profit to do so. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Broadcast news on TV is still the most reliable form of nightly news, and thus, even the mighty Internet has yet to kill it. When you want live news, you don’t power up your PC; you point the remote at your TV.
*This essay was written by Kevin W., a runner-up in the DISH Systems Scholarship Essay Contest. The opinions of the author do not reflect the opinions of DISH Systems, authorized retailer of DISH Network.