Remember the time when TV journalists simply reported the news?
That practice seems to have disappeared, because today we find newscasters and reporters performing, serving more as entertainers. They don’t exactly act like play-by-play announcers simply reporting the action on the field, but they’re also not full-time color commentators. They’re somewhere in between.
News is the reporting of recent events whereby the media provides us with information, and the media is the watchdog of us all. But just because freedom of speech offers us the right to say anything we want, doesn’t mean it should be said.
Think about it: as you watch the news – just after news stories and in between segments or commercials – how often do we hear those little banters, or commentaries, or jokes, or diatribes on some social situation or person among desk anchors? It’s supposed to be a segue to a different topic where we see the anchors’ personality and human side, but instead the power of the media is so often used to influence many via one person’s opinion – whether intentional or not.
It’s likely the “reporting hat” and “show host hat” morphed into one with the major increase of morning shows, mid-day shows, afternoon shows and talk shows, where features and lifestyle stories and commentary blended into one giant pot labeled “TV news,” all under the banner of the network. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Watching the lighter and softer side of news is enjoyable and breaks up the seriousness, but reporting has certainly become less sharing of factual information, more entertainment.
Take, for instance, this recent story featured on Kansas Today on July 8, 2015 on KSN in Wichita, Kan.
Kansas Today’s Katie Taube gave fellow reporter and dad-to-be Mark Davidson, her husband and also dad-to-be Dylan Hagen, as well as veteran dad Leon Smitherman, a list of items to find at Babies R Us. They were asked to work together to find each item in order while a KSN camera crew followed them along.
What’s not clear is why this piece occurred at all?
Was this supposed to be some fish-out-of-water premise, putting manly-men in an environment with which they’re not familiar as we watch hilarity ensue? Was the station trying to send some bumbling guys on a wild goose chase for some impossible-to-find items? Were we supposed to laugh at their overall ineptness?
After you watch the video, scroll below to read the comment from one perceptive viewer named Marissa:
“Why are you mocking dads? My husband could run circles around me when it comes to many of the so-called ‘mother roles.’ We’re living in 2015 people! Why don’t you start mocking gays along with it!”
Well said, Marissa, for we find nothing humorous or newsworthy about men going shopping, especially for items that they’ll use to co-parent these new children.
Even if these particular men weren’t familiar with a “Diaper Genie,” it’s not like anyone couldn’t find it after a common sense search. These dads are going to become parents, not babysitters, and it’s their equal responsibility to raise them just as the mothers will.
Taube, Davidson, Hagen and Smitherman are probably kind, friendly, stand up people who meant no harm, but as we’ve said before on this site – they weren’t thinking this idea all the way through. And that’s just the problem, we need to think about others and how they might feel. No one likes to be labelled, stereotyped, left out or excluded, but that’s what marketers, media and entertainment do with dads all the time.
Generations ago, it was the father who went to his work while mother stayed home with the children. So, yes, once upon a time dads were perceived as the secondary, assistant parent while mom squarely took the lead. But those days are over, and yet today, some still perpetuate this bygone era.
If KSN continues with this treatment of news, what’s next week’s segment going to be? Filming moms while they enter the work force, laughing at all their mistakes as they try to make it in the “real” world? Following girls around as they attempt to play sports? Taping men who actually try to cook a meal and clean the home?
Times have changed, we all need to treat dads with the love and respect they deserve as parents – being every bit equal parents as mothers. No one is more important as a parent than the other. Those moms-to-be have no more instinctual ability to parent the child than the dads do. They’re both parents. Equally.
And next time, hopefully KSN will be reporting the news, not creating it.
PS: Best of luck to all parents-to-be!