Election Night didn’t just bring good news to Democrats. Another group of victors were the geeks who run the major news network’s web sites, which provided election results and analysis that were more timely and accurate than what the talking heads were saying on those very same networks. That’s what the Project for Excellence in Journalism found. Director Tom Rosentiel explained that his analysts found many instances when the on-air commentators had little of value to say:
“Showcasing talent may not always be the best way of telling the story,” [Rosentiel] said.
The cable networks should spend less time on pointless talk and more time with reporters, and could even supplement coverage during quieter times with prepared reports on the personalities and issues, he said.
“If they wanted to tell the story of the election rather than put on a live television show, they could have had a much richer profile,” he said.
Don’t expect any immediate change in Election Night productions, though. TV networks are in the entertainment business, primarily, and that includes the news divisions.