Damien on… The People’s News
What do you get if you cross Big Ben, Fort Knox and the Leaning Tower of Pisa? The time, the wherewithal and the inclination. So goes the legend.
However, THIS writer has NONE of those three. So the following must be taken as a blueprint ONLY – for the Best News Service in the World.
The People’s News would do what other news services only pay lip service to – USE the New Technology. Out there, many now have the means to capture and send verbal reports, stills – even VIDEO of news.
But where can they send it? CNN and the like ASK for it – but almost never USE it. Thus most of it ends up on YouTube.
But YouTube is NOT a news service – so the result is scattergun, to say the least.
MY news service would USE the People’s material. Behind the three reporters on the desk would be the “Newsroom” – a bank of editors who, twenty-four-seven, would receive people’s reports. Seated at computers, they would ring back contributors, then edit their material for transmission.
Some material would still come from the wire services, stringers and even, when The People’s News started to make MONEY – professional reporters.
But the service would NEVER forget where it came from – and at least 50% of the output would continue to originate from The People.
The rest of the service would be very different from the mainstream media too.
The three reporters would shift one to the right, during the ad break, before every top-of-the-hour. A new guy would appear on the left seat – while the guy on the right would have gone home.
Thus at any given time, the guy on the left would be fresh, having been gathering intel from the Newsroom for the last couple of hours, while the guy in the middle would be the Anchor, having been on the desk for at least an hour – and the guy on the right would be able to refer back to earlier material, having been there the longest.
And what of those guys? Well, they would be able to comment on the news, provided said content was free from political bias. What they would NOT be permitted to do would be make a series of inane jokes and small talk – while grinning like idiots. Any jokes would have to be FUNNY.
So, what of the news itself? Well, it would be PURE news.
No weather reports – only the CURRENT state of the weather, if it was extreme.
No SPORT – sport is only news if a stand collapses.
And no FEATURES – there are plenty of other channels for those.
The top-of-the-hour would feature the main stories, for around five minutes – then more in-depth reporting on those stories, for about twenty minutes more.
However, unlike the other services, the remaining half hour would be dedicated to the SMALL stories. THOUSANDS of newsworthy events occur each day that receive scant or NO attention from the World news services. But on The People’s News, they would receive their due.
Of course if a BIG story broke, it would override all other concerns – but only while something was actually HAPPENING. Too often, news services get stuck on a “breaking story” that is now BROKEN.
And finally – graphics. One of the banes of modern news services is their LOVE of these sillies. This leads to a third of the picture area being OBSCURED by them. The graphics are there to tell us what is happening – but if they were scaled down, we would be able to SEE what was happening.
Thus on The people’s News, there would only be two small, constant graphics. The logo, top right – and a banner bottom left with just the source and location of the story running at that moment. And both would have SMALL, SKINNY lettering – in white on black – with NO BACKING.
Additionally, when a People’s News exclusive report was running, there would be a diagonal ribbon across the bottom right of the picture, upon which “The People’s News” would scroll. Like the logo and info banner, this would be small and skinny.
Services that filched TPN’s material could pixelize the ribbon, but its shape and position would give away the source.
Every report that came in from The People would be considered, but unconfirmed ones would be clearly DESCRIBED as such, to guarantee spoofs would reflect badly on the perpetrator – not TPN.
And around every bottom-of-the-hour, a warning would be broadcast telling would-be contributors NOT to take risks (either to themselves, or putting others at risk) or break any laws, while obtaining their material.
Sooner or later, someone WOULD get killed, trying to obtain material for TPN – but then, that is the risk ANY reporter takes. Around 50 to 100 professional journalists get killed every year – it comes with the territory.
But at least they would have died FOR something. To try to bring Truth to the World.
The People’s News would be the World’s only current SERIOUS news channel. The news IS serious – and would be treated with the reverence it deserves. Not as an excuse for a mediocre party.
With the New Technology a reality, the time for this service is already overdue. If someone reads this who HAS the means to introduce it – do so with my blessing. Just remember to give me one percent off the top…