As anyone who has ever attended an AA meeting will tell you, the road to recovery begins with honesty
Before you can get ‘better’ you have to be honest about the problem. You have to have the courage to stand up before the group and say, “my name is Lindsay and I am an alcoholic”. That is step 1.
I was reminded of this when I read a comment posted yesterday by ‘invited media’:
“something is seriously wrong ok…my wife made me sit down with her and watch the 10pm local news last night…something i hadn’t done in 6 months or so.
i couldn’t take it.
no wonder folks are leaving and not returning.”
The most recent numbers from CBS Evening News seem to bear this out.
Time to be honest.
Time to stand up in front of the group, raise our collective right hands and say: “I work in TV news and it sucks”.
Go ahead, say it.
In the privacy of your home, say what you already know is true.
What we put on the air sucks.
It’s not your fault.
It’s not anyone’s fault.
It’s a collective problem.
There is something fundamentally wrong here.
We spent massive amounts of money on making this stuff. We spend time. We devote our lives to it, literally. We have vast resources. The raw material is endlesslly fascinating – Darfur, Bush, Global Warming.. you name it. But somehow, what comes out on the other end, night after night… sucks.
It just sucks.
Is there a single person alive… Les Moonves, are you reading this… who looks at The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric each night and says “brilliant”?
Is there anyone?
Is there anyone who looks at local news night after night as we drone on and on with endless pointless stories who says, “boy am I proud of the work I am putting out?”
Anyone at all?
We spend millions to make this stuff.. hundreds of millions.. and yet… and yet if we took any tv news show, burned it to a DVD and took it to Blockbuster, could we sell it for a single dollar each night? For a quarter? Would anyone pay anything for it, given the option?
We all know there is something fundamentally wrong in our business.
We are talented.
We work really hard.
We want to succeed.
And yet… and yet…
Something is not working here…
We may not know what the answer is…
But the first step to fixing it, is to look at it honestly, and to be honest with ourselves.
“I have a problem…”