Journalism and the Palmetto State of play

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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6 Responses

  1. Mrs. Otis says:

    I’m ALMOST going to give you an AMEN on this piece. The one point I take issue with is the idea that harder news doesn’t show results in daily ratings books. If you remember, back when we were actually reporting the news, we won, and won big almost every single day, every single newscast. When the “news” product here and across the country slowly turns toward crappola, there is a gradual erosion in those daily ratings numbers. Why should I waste 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back when I could be doing something more important? When people know they’ll find something RELEVANT, NEW AND INTERESTING, they might make a newscast “appointment viewing,” instead of my-kid’s-on-TV viewing…much like I make Big Bang Theory appointment viewing (said sort of jokingly).

    Viewers are not as stupid as consultants want us all to believe. You can polish the crap up to look real purty, but at the end of the day, it’s still crap and a complete waste of their time.

    To think you can save money (and help the bottom line) by continually cutting staff and resources, by doing more with less, and by slinging hash just to fill the bottomless pit of time is not just doing your viewers a disservice; it’s also bad business. If you make a quality product, people will buy it. Make a piece of crap, and they might buy it one time, but they’re sure not coming back for more.

    …stepping off my soapbox, taking off my outraged journalist cap, and putting back on my stay-at-home-mommy-puked-on-pants…

    Oh, and yay Hu and Stiles!

  2. G-Rob says:

    I’m going to agree with your wife. Hard news is actually the single best ratings magnet there is and the public is starving for ORIGINAL ENTERPRISE hard news.

    The REAL problem is that hard news takes a great deal of time, talent and man(or woman)power.

    Who has any of that?

  3. CJ says:

    Hard news wins. Every time. Our research shows it. Our ratings show it. What do they want? Breaking news and severe weather. They want to know what happened in their community that day.

    Our morning show abandoned the long-held tradition of Today Show style interviews. We deliver news. What happened overnight? What’s happening right now? What’s going to happen today that affects my life.

    Every morning and afternoon, I ask my reports to bring me a story with two things: urgency and relevance. Feature report became an afterthought the day I arrived. Some people confuse good storytelling with fluffy stories. It’s just not the case. You can have great storytelling on a hard news story.

    We win in the ratings. We’re a strong #1 getting stronger.

    On the other hand, our competiting is selling McDonald’s coffee from the set in their morning show. Here it is. It’s sick and disgusting and it drags us all down.

  4. CJ says:

    Oh, and thanks for the compliment. We may disagree politically, but we’re obviously on the same page when it comes to what journalism should be!

  5. elise says:

    Big thank you for y’all’s continued friendship and support… we’re excited… only a week until launch! As they say, stay tuned.

  1. October 28, 2009

    […] many of my closest friends in the past few weeks. So I’m really sorry, and I miss you. Also, a huge thank you to the friends who have already supported or are planning to support The Tribune in one way or […]

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