Opportunities Await Those Willing to Cross the Lines

By Stokes, Chuck | The Masthead, Fall 1996 | Go to article overview

Opportunities Await Those Willing to Cross the Lines


Stokes, Chuck, The Masthead


Get ready for the world beyond boring pages and talking heads.

Forecasting the future of broadcast editorials is about as risky as golfing in a thunderstorm with bolts of lightning coming from every direction.

The news business, like the weather business, is an unpredictable science. Writing about what "should" happen in the 21st century as opposed to what "will" happen is much safer.

If the current trend continues, more and more people will turn to television and radio for their daily dose of news and information. So the influence of broadcast editorials and commentaries should increase, not decrease. The number of stations broadcasting their opinions has a good chance of doubling.

No, I haven't lost my mind. Optimistic as it may sound, I think it's a very real possibility.

Given the fact that the airwaves will be cluttered with so many different kinds of programming, taking a firm stand on important issues will be one of the best ways for local cable and commercial stations to distinguish themselves from the pack.

You can bet on another fact as well: Print, broadcast, and entertainment businesses will continue to merge. This will provide traditional print and broadcast opinion writers a greater opportunity to cross the lines that separate them. Seeing the same editorialist present his or her views on radio, on high definition television, and on programs you pull up on your computer won't be uncommon.

If we as journalists embrace this challenge, we will be rewarded with a bigger, younger, more diverse audience. …

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