SCOOP: NEWSPAPER MAN CONFRONTS TV CREW ON AIR
(Buffalo, NY) May 11, 2005 - A cagey newspaper reporter fed up with seeing his work lifted by TV colleagues blew the whistle on recycled news.
"They're scooping my scoop," said veteran print report Jiminy Diz.
Diz confronted a news team from WKBW-TV (Ch.7) on a local bike path. Festooned in his signature checkered suit and press hat, he burst into the ABC affiliate's lead story on park clean up with a siren whistle and a bone to pick. A bemused reporter attempted to block the shrill call of the whistle with a sheet of paper. Video of the event is available at www.newsbreakers.org/video.htm.
"TV newsrooms regularly rehash the morning paper to fill their news blocks," said NEWSBREAKER J.D. Rozz, "What was hot off the presses during the morning meeting can get a little stale by noon."
"Even with a smile, they're still slinging sloppy seconds," said NEWSBREAKER Norm Weathers.
Diz said the pervasive presence of rehashed content on local television news led him to the desperate act.
"Can't a pressman work in this town?" Diz asked the WKBW reporter, who replied, "I wouldn't know."
Since 2002, the percentage of people reading a newspaper regularly has fallen by three percent to the lowest reported figure on record, while television news has enjoyed a steady rise in viewers at the same rate, according to "The State of the News Media 2005" issued by The Project for Excellence in Journalism. The report is available at www.stateofthemedia.org.
NEWSBREAKERS is a nonpartisan media watchdog group. It offers comment and critique on the role of television news in informing the public. The group relies on parody and non-traditional media transformations. The group is currently planning future events and accepting applications.