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Human face in news reinvented yet again 3/23/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Roles.
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First, there was the newspaper — then, there was the editor, who added a persona, style, and trusted relationship. First there was the TV news reader — then, there was the anchorman and cable news personality. First, there was radio news — then, there was the talk radio host. Over and over again in the history of news, we learn and relearn that we prefer to receive news using systems that simulate human-to-human interaction — the same way news was spread before the printing press was invented. Modern Journalism has tried to convince us that news created using quasi-scientific objective techniques, and delivered by superhumanly objective individuals can fulfill human needs for news. But now, in MarketWatch we read, “In order to compete, the monolithic traditional magazine, newspaper and television networks appear to be relying on reporters to move up the value chain and become brands themselves to attract the audience. Why? … The audience is learning or becoming conditioned to identify with a personality or expert or show, rather than one big institution.” Close, but not quite. This is not something the audience needs to learn or become conditioned to — it is built into the human psyche.

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