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Sniper Coverage

             In comparing the different broadcasts, of cable and network news on the sniper coverage, I found dramatic differences. For starters, I cable news has a major advantage. They have twenty-four hours a day to cover news. They have no other TV shows or programs they need to show. They have all that time that they need to fill with news and every aspect of that news as much as humanly possible. The only advantage that network news has is tradition. Jennings, Rather, and Brokaw are household names, and have been watched for over 30 years.
             I’ve started to watch Shepard Smith on Fox news, due to my dad’s frequent questions of “did you watch Shep last night?” After watching him during this week, I see why the constant harassment. His interviews of criminologists on the sniper case, was amazing. The spokesman, wouldn’t answer his questions, and kept referring to previous cases. He kicked them off his show. He said “if you’re not going to answer me, then get out of here”, then said get him out, and then the criminologist had to leave. I’ve never seen anything like that before in news or an interview. Other than that, on Fox news, and CNN, they covered everything, as it happened; CNN had a phone interview with Malvo’s father. He is in Jamaica, and for some reason that hindered the phone’s clarity. Even though he didn’t offer any helpful news, the conversation was on for over 20 minutes. It made it seem like they were just “filling time” instead of giving news. My other major criticism of cable news is how fast they pushed the case aside. When news of the senator’s plane crash came in; the sniper was no longer in the news crawl, not to mention the active report. It was nice to know that a horrible accident had occurred, but they could have finished up their thoughts on the sniper first.