Friday, March 15, 2013

NEWS 6,738

(Expanded - March 18, 2013)

NBC Nightly News "studio set" at "Rock Center" (30 Rockefeller Plaza or Center - The GE Building in New York City").  NBC is the oldest News Broadcasting Company in the US going on air in 1926 and broadcasting until today.  Their news division has set the tone in American Broadcasting and has long since been a leader in the field with their trend setting TV programming, "Today", "NBC Nightly News" and the "Tonight Show". 
 *  Special thanks to "Google Images",, "The Austin American-Statesman" and all the men and women who have and are working in the field of Journalism.

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman

Felicity here again for the Noodleman Group.  How do you get your news?  Television, News Papers, the Internet and BLOGS, Radio or a weekly News Magazines like “Time” or “Newsweek”?  This week were writing about the news and how the news is collected, written and published.  We’ll also look at how the news affects our everyday lives.

There are more choices than ever for getting the news these days.  From top
left to bottom right - News Papers and News Magazines, Radio News
(veteran Edward R. Murro during the golden age of radio - he also worked in
television 1938-'65), Internet coverage, Television Network News Programs and
inside the TV News Control Room.

Here at “Noodleman” we’re a fledgling news Blog  hoping to grow and expand in the future.  We write about the news as we see it.  We stand on our Constitutional First Amendment Rights.  No one tells us what to write – no political party bosses, no union representatives, no advertisers, and no special interest groups! 

At Noodleman we try to explore a story and confirm the story from more than one news source.  We explore the background information from sources like “Wikipedia”, the “Guinness Book of Records“or others.  Hopefully with this approach we will have a better understanding of what’s happening with the news.  We seek to see the clear and unvarnished truth about a subject.  I must also confess that we offer some commentary on a story separate and apart from the news.

The Printed Page

To begin; how is news collected and which decisions determine what will be news in the media?  This can be a simple but sometimes complex answer.  Writing is where it all begins and has always been referred to as Journalism.  Whether printed in news publication form or broadcast on air there is always a written source.  So it would stand to reason news begins at the beginning with an event.  An event can be defined with the following synonyms from “”: 

accident, act, action, advent, adventure, affair, appearance, business, calamity, case, catastrophe, celebration, ceremony, chance, circumstance, coincidence, conjuncture, crisis, deed, development, emergency, episode, experience, exploit, fact, function, holiday, incident, juncture, marvel, matter, milestone, miracle, misfortune, mishap, mistake, occasion, occurrence, pass, phase, phenomenon, predicament, proceeding, shift, situation, story, thing*, tide, transaction, triumph, turn, wonder

As journalists report on these stories we always try to answer five questions – the “WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHERE AND HOW” of a story.  Just the facts!  In answering these questions journalists inform their readers and audience without bias or prejudice as they report a the news.  These are the boundaries for good journalist and separate news from propaganda.  Propaganda has no place in a free Democracy as it dictates what its readers and audience is to see and think.

For over a century news organizations have banded together forming “Syndicates” in an effort to collect the news stories of the day and to distribute the news to a national and world wide audience.  This is the heart of the news business.  The oldest of the three syndicates we will discuss is the AP (“Associated Press” – founded 1846), “Reuters” (an English syndicate - founded 1851) and UPI (“United Press International” – founded in 1907 as “United Press Associates” and later changed in 1958 to UPI).  These three syndicates are the most widely used and quoted by both printed and broadcast news organizations. 

The Austin American-Statesman has four printing presses. There are three Goss/Metroliner presses which cost around $10 million each. And those are the smaller presses! The large printing press above is nicknamed “Big Blue” and was purchased from a company in Germany called KBA. This is the Statesman’s newest press and it was a $28 million project for the newspaper. The press itself cost $14 million. The press room actually had to be expanded to fit the huge Big Blue inside, which cost another $14 million. Big Blue is six stories high and more than 60 feet tall!

Using the AP as an example to illustrate how these syndicates formed and the role they play in disseminating the news as a cooperative between news papers and broadcast companies, we see a “two way street” concept to bring important news to the widest possible audience.  Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative formed in the spring of 1846 by five daily newspapers in New York City to share the cost of transmitting news.  You could say the AP is the “Gateway to Knowledge and Wisdom”! 

Newspapers and Broadcast members form the syndicate and are contributors sending their stories to be picked up by the “AP” which are then dispatched to other news agencies (Papers and Broadcasters) to be carried by their agencies under a byline such as (AP – Washington).  Sometimes more than one story will be sent to the “AP” covering an event.  Each story might contain more and different information.  The “AP” sometimes will decide to make a “Re-write” story editing both stories into one and will usually run under a “AP” byline such as (AP staff writer Felicity Blaze Noodleman) and may dispatch all three stories.  “UPI” and “Reuters” operate in a similar manner. 

On Air or Broadcast News

Group photo of "On Air" news personalities at "ABC" .  I'll only mention Barbara Walters
(front center) since she's a legend in the business.  Barbara has worked all three of the
major TV Networks, beginning in 1961 at "CBS" as a news writer.   She became a co-anchor
on the "NBC Today Show" in 1964, and has been at the news division of "ABC" since
1976 until the present.

Since the days of radio, broadcasters like “NBC” and “CBS” have formed their own syndicates or “Networks” sharing and supplying their affiliates with programming and news.  In effect, they are a syndicate within a syndicate!  Today in the television age, we now have more networks than ever with cable TV.  Viewers have a multitude of choices – “NBC”, “CBS”, “ABC”, “FOX”, “CNN”, “PBS” and “MSNBC” who all have respectable news broadcasting programming.  Of course with “On Air” news broadcasting we are able to receive the news instantaneously as it is happening.  All together between these syndicates and networks we now have more news coverage than ever before.

The new man at CBC, Scott Pelley who replaced the short lived
Katie Couric on the "Evening News"  Broadcasting since 1927 "CBS is also known
for their address in New York City at 51 West 52nd Street, at the corner of Sixth
Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) and simply referred to as "Black Rock".

Of the three major on air Broadcasting networks "NBC" and "CBS" are by far the oldest with "CBS" going on air one year after "NBC" (1926 & 1927) in New York City.  "ABC" is the newest of the three major networks beginning their Broadcasting company in in 1943.  While "NBC" and "CBS" have remained fairly stable in their corporate structure and ownership "ABC" has changed ownership several times.  "ABC" was founded by Edward Noble, then becoming "Capital Cities" and is now part of the Walt Disney company in Los Angeles, CA.  

Today; two other networks have evolved to become major players in the network news market. 
"CNN", founded in 1980 by Ted Turner is a major player in news programing and has distinguished themselves with their in depth reporting and "one on one" interviews with the news makers of the day.  The Fox Broadcasting Network was launched in 1986 by news Mogul Rupert Murdock and Berry Diller in Los Angeles,CA.  No mater your preference in reporting and on air personalities, there is a wide range of choice for viewers today.  Oh; and lets not forget the "PBS News Hour"!

The Internet and Computer Age
Now that we are in the 21st. century and the Internet age, the traditional news publishers are struggling with declining readership.  The economics of the printed page are difficult enough.  Newspapers have had to raise prices, make their papers smaller while adding more features such as color photographs and some newspapers have gone to a three or four day week.  Many news publications have simply suspended their publications opting to go online with a news site or go out of business all together.  News magazines such as “Time” and “Newsweek” are also now feeling the crunch.  On line newspapers and magazines are still evolving and experimenting with their formats.  As a result, many are becoming better than ever.  Broadcast TV and Radio networks have also expanded into Internet publishing so their audiences may follow a story or recheck the information at a later time.

Some Internet search engine's which can help us with researching
the news on line.

Above; two online sites for broadcasters who are publishing on line.  (PBS and Fox News).
Below; two News Papers who have gone on line ("The Washington Post" and my hometown 
newspaper "The Flint Journal" which has completely reinvented itself as "Michigan Live"
and cutting it's paper publishing to four days a week.  It is now a cooperative with other
newspapers in the Michigan area).

Assessing Journalism

At this point I should like to write a little about my own experience in the media .  In High School and College I participated in the radio classes and programs available in Broadcasting.  I won't try to make that experience sound noble or give myself any great praise - truthfully I was just there to spin records.  I wanted to work in radio as a DJ and I also learned to edited and read news on air.  I even made some commercials, station promos and "Public Service Announcements"!  As a staff photographer for “The Abilene Reporter News”, I have had pictures picked up by the “AP” and received an “AP” photo credit which was very exciting.  Now today; I'm writing for "The Noodleman Group".  

I was trained in Photography while in the US Air Force.  I couldn't get enough training in the art and science of the craft and spent most of my free time with further reading and study while working on the Base newspaper "The Dyess Peacemaker" and working part time for the "Abilene Reporter News" in Abilene, TX.  I love the still photos which came out of the newspapers and magazines down through the decades.  A good photographer can capture the moment for a news event and produce a image of historical significance.  

Many classic photographs have become icons and illustrate history.  From the news magazines and newspapers from the golden age of photography, (1930's - 1960's).  Publications such as  Life (USA), Look (USA), Sports Illustrated (USA)) and newspapers (The Daily Mirror (London), The New York Daily News (New York) built their huge readerships and reputations largely on their use of photography, and photographers such as Robert Capa, Romano Cagnoni, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White and W. Eugene Smith became well-known names.  On the other hand, I almost detest broadcast news footage!  The networks have some of the worst photography and video I have ever seen.  It’s too bad television news hasn’t evolved to a stage of excellence yet!  

This classic news photograph taken on February 23, 1945, by Joe Rosenthal. It depicts five United States Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman raising the flag of the United States atop Mount Suribachi after the battle for the Iwo Jima in the South Pacific During WWI.  This iconic image has been cast in bronze inspiring several statues.

This classic news photo illustrates just how wrong the press can be mistaken
as President Truman displays a copy of the "Chicago Daily Tribune" announcing
his defeat in the election upon his reelection to the Presidency in 1948 for another
term in the White House!

One other problem which I have become aware of in the news these days - maybe it's been there all along and I haven't noticed it - Journalists and TV Broadcasters seem to have a political bias!  Because most Journalists are members of Unions they seem to "mirror" the views of their labor organizations.  This is known as "filtering" or "coloring" the news to favor one political party over another.  They also promote certain special interest groups who have issued "press releases" weather or not these groups are news worthy.

A famous example of news organizations reporting more than the news happened during the Vietnam War.  Journalists began questioning the rational of the US Government and specifically President L.B. Johnson's administration for the long running involvement of the war in the South East Asia.  This also carried over into President Nixon's administration.  In Chicago,IL the Democrat's Political Convention in 1968 was the scene of protests and riots directed at the Democrats and their involvement with the Vietnam war.  

"CBS" seemed to take the lead in this rebellion against the Government.  Their news anchorman, Walter Cronkite, began to speak against the war in his broadcasts.  "CBS" also had programing issues with one of it's entertainment programs, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour", which portrayed the Johnson administration is an unfavorable light and had to be heavily censored.

At "CBS", the news division felt  the focus of the "Vietnam War" story was shifting from the war itself to the inability of the US Government to apply a military solution in dealing with the Communist regime in N. Vietnam.  President Johnson, a Democrat, was  leading the country in a failing military campaign which was becoming a humane travesty.  

Once again the Democrats are leading the country through another quagmire with a monstrous Federal Deficit which defies an economic solution.  According to "US News & World Report" the interest being paid on the deficit dwarfs all other Government spending!  Spending cuts are the clear solution and Democrats in Washington still insist on their same old "Tax and spend" philosophy.  Noodleman feels the Federal Deficit is the biggest threat to American civil rights and our Constitutional freedoms today!

 Walter Cronkite of "CBS"  has been one of the most respected News Journalists ever
known as "the most trusted man in America".  Walter began his career in Journalism
sometime between 1935 - '37 after leaving college working as a newspaper writer.  He joined 
Oklahoma radio station "WKY".  He Joined the "United Press in 1937 and became a WWII
news corespondent.  In 1950 Walter joined "CBS" beginning in their new TV News Division.
He retired from "CBS" in 1980 but remained active in broadcasting until his death in 2009.

The news keeps informed on so many levels.  From Government issues, Weather, Traffic conditions, Sports, Finances, Entertainment and Home & Family living.  The news rounds out our lives keeping us informed and up to date on living in general.  Even the advertisement of a new product in the news can change our lives.

Finally when assessing news sources; as individuals who watch and read about the news in a free Democracy as our USA, we should always try to keep an open mind.  Learn to "read between the lines" and  ask questions while forming our opinions.  When we have a problem with a story in the news, do our own research on the Internet to clarify issues and establish the historical background.  

Of my own personal news preferences which I might mention curiously enough are; "The Washington Post" and "USA Today" newspapers, "Time" magazine,  "NBC Nightly News" and "PBS" for television news.  Finally but by no means last, "Google" for surfing the net.  Oh yes; and I love "THE NOODLEMAN GROUP" on Google Blogger!  It is traditional for Journalists to end an article with a "-30-" in red at the end of a story and that's how I would prefer to end this article!


It's all to easy for journalists to be influenced by unions, political organizations,
advertisers and even foreign governments which can "color and filter" the news. 

* “The Noodleman Group” is pleased to announce that we are now carrying a link to the “USA Today” news site.We installed the “widget/gadget” August 20, and it will be carried as a regular feature on our site.Now you can read“Noodleman” and then check in to “USA Today” for all the up to date News, Weather, Sports and more!Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of our site and hit the “USA Today” hyperlinks.Enjoy!

The Noodleman Group is on Google "Blogger"!

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