Newsmagazines were called the "dramas of the '90s" on television because "newsmagazines, with their flair for dramatic storytelling, are replacing the traditional hour fictional dramas." Don Hewitt believed, "Tell a good story. Good writers have understood that since the Bible." Back in 1988, Paul Greenberg made the comment, "Again and again, when people in the New World explain why they want to read, they mention the Bible. Raised on the spoken word, and long sustained by it, they are hungry for the written. Yet those who do read may pass by the family Bible – with its thunderous call, its joy and sorrows, its majesty and gentleness – on the way to turn on the television set." Neal Shapiro of 'Dateline NBC' expressed, "We do stories on the things people are talking about. The stories that are in the public consciousness. People say I'm cynical and I'm just trying to get the audience in. Is there an element of that? Yeah. But along the way I give them a good story and they come away saying, 'I didn't know that.'" 

Television had been described as "your true mirror of reality". "TV is oral, not written," it was stressed. For example, TV news was "designed to serve not the written but the spoken word." Hence the audience "need not be literate in the same way that the readers of the print medium must be." The greatest 'information revolution' was caused not by the computer but by something as powerful as the computer – literacy: the ability to read. Literacy liberated us from oral speech. "TV news is not just a newspaper with motion pictures. It is an entirely different medium," it was reasoned. By 1984, television had become the main source of news for more than half of the American public.

"TV is aimed at capturing the working class. Straight news is left up to the newspapers," it was mentioned. TV was "a 52-week-a-year business. We have to attract audiences in the repeat season as well. The long-term meat-and-potatoes of the network television business are those weekly series that advertisers know will reach certain kinds of audiences consistently...Generally in TV, if something goes down, something else goes up," it was hinted. As reported, "Like most things in TV, the reason for the proliferation of newsmagazines (in the 1990s) is economic: They make money. But newsmagazines, especially those that are not yet well established, do not go into repeats, which means they have to produce twice as many 'episodes' as dramas do." Newsmagazines such as 'Turning Point' finished the 1993-94 season as the most popular magazine among adults 18-49 years old, the target audience on prime time TV, and the 2nd-most watched among adults 25-54 years old, the main audience for news programs.

One professor teaching economics of broadcasting at the University of Maryland College of Journalism, pointed out, "The networks found a way to actually make money on news with these magazines instead of losing it with their nightly newscasts. Of course, making more magazines has become their primary business. That's the way business works." Andrew Heyward of '48 Hours' acknowledged, "No one expects you to win against 'Cosby', we were told when we were put up against him on Thursdays. You can come in No. 2 in the time period and carve out a niche for yourself. Once you're expected to win, it's a different kind of pressure...The challenge is to do work that's viable in an aggressive programing strategy, but at the same time journalistically worthwhile."

Another professor, teaching communications at the University of Michigan remarked, "There is no question the newsmagazine phenomenon is almost completely driven by economics and, only somewhat, by a desire to serve the public interest." Forrest Sawyer conceded, "Broadcast networks are beginning to realize the enormous earnings potential of newsmagazines and they are running to them. Even though there are high expenses in starting one of these shows, once you find an audience and people stay, it's a tremendous franchise - it keeps going like the Energizer rabbit."

Andrew added, "They have gone from being defensive pieces to attack pieces in programing strategies." However one network executive admitted, "Like anything else, there are diminishing returns when there are too many. The downside right now (back in 1993) is that too many magazines are doing the same stories." But another insisted, "Even if you have 2 newsmagazines against each other and they're both doing a 12.5 rating, given the economics of the newsmagazine, that's still a successful franchise."

In Australia, Jana Wendt was said to have "enormous commercial power, based...on her time on 'A Current Affair' and '60 Minutes.'" Believing 'Witness' "was the best hope for the network's news in its current format," Jana was lured from one network to another in 1996 to "give credibility to the station's news and current affairs and that will flow to the news - but that is a very long-term process." It was argued, "You can't expect a news service that is essentially the same as its rival, to beat it. It needs to be radically different. If you look at all the news we have on offer on television, there are distinct points of difference.

The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) is a more comprehensive and analytical service, SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) is an international service, and (channel) Ten is an hour bulletin. Only (channels) Nine and Seven are the same. They have points of difference but are basically formulated the same way - they need to be different." Charles Kuralt made the comment in 1976, "Television has become a national issue...When a kind of television labels itself 'public' and spends tax dollars, it's earned the right to be reported on. Theoretically, public television is supposed to be free to serve small audiences, minority audiences, audiences not served by commercial television. But the corporations which provide an important part of public television's funding want their images as benefactors displayed before an elite, the opinion-makers. And the larger the audience, the better. The public stations like this audience too, since it has money and might reward the stations with a donation."

The network managing director at channel Seven at the time was matter-of-fact, "It doesn't matter how much marketing you do, what people you put in place, or how you sell the proposition, how you try to convince the public - nothing at the end of the day can beat actual performance, day in day out, for a considerable period of time where they can see that you actually do deliver the news and you do it well - and we are there a lot more now than we were 9 months ago (in November 1995)."

By 1996, Gary Rice confessed, "I have a bit of a dilemma about 'Today Tonight', and I also include 'A Current Affair' in this. I think that 6.30(p.m.) current affairs television is a bit too preoccupied with what I would - I find hard to label - but the freaky-type stories, stories that I think are tabloid beyond belief. I think there's too much emphasis on them. And yet, having said that, I guess as commercial operators...it's pretty difficult to say that we are going to be very brave and boldly depart in another direction and stand the chance of yet again confusing the public. I think there's been a considerable amount of that achieved before I arrived on the scene. The public just becomes disenfranchised, and wonder whether or not you really do have a commitment. They don't know who's going to be reading the news, they don't really understand who they're going to see from one week to the next. Which is probably a bit extreme to say but it's not too far off the mark."

John Chancellor insisted journalism had always been the thoughtful interpretation of events that would make news. He had stated, "The 'oligopolistic' power of the networks has increased over time in the hands of those few 'telegogues' who select, edit, and deliver what a willingly captive audience shall hear on the issues of the day. We are used. What I think is that we probably should be used. By that I mean as a transmission belt, not manipulated. The practice started in large scale before World War I, when Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany gave an anonymous interview to a London paper just to sensationalize ideas he wanted out in public. That kind of media manipulation occurs frequently (by 1982)."

Diane Sawyer said in 1994, "It's all about balance and proportion. I do about 40 pieces a year on 'PrimeTime,' and 90% of them are a serious investigation of issues that can affect people's lives. I think critics tend to remember the 'tabloid-style' stories more than the work that we spend most of our time on." Neal insisted, "To me, there are some things that are perfectly legitimate and appropriate to do, and I'm kind of puzzled why some things are OK in the printed world, but not on television. What I like about 'Dateline' is we're always trying to redefine the genre...Documentaries need to be an hour. You can't do 3 in an hour…Don (Hewitt) has been an incredible pioneer, but that doesn't mean it should stop there." Normally 'Dateline' 4 segments comprised of interviews, one investigative story, a light piece and an update of a continuing story.

Between 1969 and 2010, Bob Mayer could be seen on Miami television reporting news,"...I think I fully understood that the business had become a totally different business than the one I originally got into…Today (2010), if you’re not on Twitter and Facebook and the others, or if you don’t have links on your newscast and you're not doing blogs, then you're not with it; you're not where TV news is today (the 21st century)...TV news departments can no longer afford to do the kind of journalism that we used to do when news departments were not required to even turn a profit. Television news was a public service back then. Today, a news department not only has to turn a profit; it better be making the best profit in the market or heads are going to roll."

One media specialist made the point, "Internet journalism, at its most fundamental, is no different from that of traditional print or broadcast media….Watching TV or reading the paper essentially involves only 2 parties: the reader and the news source. In the online environment, readers can interact with other readers as part of the same media experience. That's where the brand names of traditional media outlets comes in and it's one of the reasons news sites that are affiliated with traditional news outlets have stronger drawing power on the Internet, as readers use the brand name as a means of sorting the chaff from grain."

One Harvard professor theorized, "Television news is like newspaper news in that both mobilize public attention to public affairs and disseminate information – but there the similarities end. For television news is all mobilization: it seems utterly to lack the liberal, privatizing characteristics of print journalism – the discontinuities, the randomness, the ambiguities and the diversity which give the ideal of individualism real substance. The television news emphasis on spectacle, its reliance on the single omniscient to the notion of a unified, thematic depiction of events, all make TV an extraordinarily powerful mobilizer of public attention and public opinion."

As had been reported, "No appointed government, not even one as honest and dedicated as the Iraqi Governing Council, can have the legitimacy necessary today (in 2003) to take on the difficult issues Iraqis face as they write their Constitution and elect a government. The only path to full Iraqi sovereignty is through a written Constitution, ratified and followed by free, democratic elections." 

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