Financial crisis = televisual crack

Here is another one of those “no shit Sherlock” reports.  A report commissioned by Sky News reports that television reports about the banking crisis having had the biggest impact on British viewers of any news story in the last 20 years.

Isn’t it slightly disingenuous to report this as news? Anyone working in a TV newsroom in Britain has known since that collapse of Northern Rock, if not slightly before that (if they were paying attention), there was nothing to grab the viewing public’s attention like the power of nightmares heading straight for their bank balance.

It was like the worst reality show you could imagine. The mighty tumbled, the unexpected became reality and further still each twist and turn directly impacted upon the life of you, the viewer. We couldn’t have asked for a better story.

And in the sharpest twist of fate the story which we peddled, stoking the flames on the fire of fear, has now bitten us in the tail. UK media has been hit so hard by the advertising downturn bought on by the financial crisis brought on by the credit crunch that we so snappily through into the common vernacular.

Who could have asked for a better story with a better arc?

More than 2,000 people were asked which stories had most interested them and their families and 50 per cent nominated the ongoing financial crisis.

The November 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York came second with 29 per cent.

Other events nominated include the 1997 election and the death of Princess Diana.

But when people were asked which news story had the biggest impact on the world the November 11 attacks came out on top.

The You Gov poll of 2,338 adults was commissioned to mark 20 years of Sky News.

A Sky News spokeswoman said: “The survey shows that there is a clear distinction between what people see as the biggest stories to the outside world, and what directly impacts them and their loved ones the most.

“9/11 was indisputably one of the biggest stories of the last 20 years, but when it comes to what has impacted Britons the most, the current financial crisis clearly has had the biggest impact as it directly affects their way of life and future prospects.”

Network news – inside the dragon’s den

Back on the day shift and the joys of the morning editorial meeting beckon.

Each morning at an hour long meeting takes place in which the programme editors of the news bulletins thrash out what news you the viewer will consume.

It’s a bit like the Roman gods; they decide what stories the correspondents will cover, where they’ll be deployed, how they’ll cover the story.

The meeting is an epic battle of the wills. The evening news editor will want to make sure that he doesn’t get shafted over by the night time news, which’ll probably have more time and a bigger budget to play with.

The foreign editor aims ensure his correspondents are kept happy by pushing for their stories from around the globe make on to air despite the current obsession for economic navel gazing or the latest round in the spat between Madge and Guy.

And the editor in chief needs to ensure that the day’s offering attracts as many viewers as possible.

A bit of a giggle

I personally find them hilarious. At our channel much of the discussion has more to do with the logistics of deploying limited resources rather than journalism per se.

Yet the presence of wit, irony and sarcasm so early in the morning makes it difficult to keep a straight face.

I would divulge some of anecdotes here but maybe they’re of the ‘you had to be there’ kind. Also I might end up getting sacked for it… which on second thoughts is probably a great reason to start posting.