Nightly network news is fading into irrelevance—and if Diane Sawyer wants to make a difference in the media, she should turn down Charlie Gibson’s job so ABC can pay for some real reporting, writes Jack Shafer for Slate. The broadcasts have essentially become infotainment, an expert says, “aping the dreadful local news that they once disdained,” writes Shafer.
“The journalistic value of these programs is marginal at this point,” the media professor notes. And it doesn’t much matter who reads the news “as long as that person is properly groomed and doesn’t drool," Shafer opines. “If you really want to make an indelible mark on journalism,” he advises Sawyer, “turn down the job and persuade ABC News to divert the millions it ordinarily pays its anchor and spend it on 50 or 80 additional reporters to break stories.”