The Newsroom: A Refreshing Possibility

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What kind of news do we want?

I don’t really watch much television news anymore, but who could blame me? With FOX news attacking MSNBC and MSNBC attacking FOX, rights vs. lefts, conservatives vs. liberals, agendas, feuds, and bragging rights…since when did the news become such a joke? What happened to the Ted Kopels, the Peter Jennings, the Tom Brokaws? I fear the news today would have Walter Cronkite rolling in his grave.

Unbiased, transparent, ethical, factual, meaningful, knowledgeable, relevant, honest, hardworking, integrity, trustworthy, up-to-date, passionate, focused, united, moral, ambitious, accountable, accurate, uninterested in ratings, unmotivated by “popularity,” unwavering in determination.

Words. All words that make up the ‘perfect’ news station. Is it possible? Can there be a force out there, giving us good, solid, truthful news? Can there be news that doesn’t cave to demands for ratings and advertising, but reports on what matters? Can people come together for the common good? Can news ever be this good?

HBO’s The Newsroom aims to represent such a reality. “News 2.0″ is what they call it and the show sojourns on in an attempt to illustrate the complications that lie if such a reality were to exist. With fast paced dialogue and characters that have real depth, this show accurately conveys what being on a news station staff would feel like. After its Season 1 finale, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is such a news broadcast even possible? Could we be so nobel, crusading for honest intentions in our reporting?

I have to admit, there were many, “YES!” moments shouted at my TV screen while watching this show. I think many of them were due to the wounds done by modern broadcasting not giving us what we want.

We want justice, we want a change, we want better. In an age that has been dubbed the “information age,” one would think that facts would mean “truth.” But as we are bombarded with more and more information, it has seemingly become harder to find out how conclusions are being drawn. The news media today has an opportunity to be the people who help us see through the information and point to what is true and honest (and the nuances that go along with that).

The Newsroom makes me think that this far-out, figment of my imagination could be closer to a reality than I thought. Who is brave enough to claim it?