Thursday, June 14, 2018

News Observation

I sat last night watching the ZDF (German public TV, Channel Two) late news. 

Around a year ago, for at least a month....ZDF and it's news folks spent a fair amount of time dumping on the terrible nature of nuclear war, and how President Trump was getting everyone nearer to a nuke war with North Korea.  Expert after expert would come on....hype the terrible instability that was approaching, and talking about the lack of expertise that Trump had in handling crisis periods.  War is a very bad, bad, bad thing....was the theme of the ZDF news telecasts.

So a year passed....President Trump goes off to Singapore, and this vastly different world opens up where the nuke crisis is dissolved.  Denuclearization was the theme everywhere you looked two days ago.

What did ZDF cover last night?  That President Trump had taken actions to threaten world peace by accepting dialog with North Korea's Kim.   Yes, for about five minutes of the late news....that was theme.  President Trump lacked the expertise in handling a non-crisis period.  They found the right experts to conclude the report. 

The staff at ZDF probably grinned the whole time that this 'gimmick' was played out and figured that a vast number of the German public bought off on their intellectual argument. The problem is....most Germans aren't that stupid, and they remember precisely what the words were a year ago, and this whole flip-flop makes no sense, unless you were boozed up, on drugs, or just plain crazy.

How many Germans watch public TV news?  Back in the 1980s....you probably had more than seventy-percent of the adult German public who caught at least two or three nights per week.  Today?  I would suggest fewer than 20-percent watch two or three nights per week of the public TV news (ARD, or ZDF).  If you go to age groups....the 15-to-30 years old group is probably less than 10-percent. 

As much as both public TV news groups think that they can draw the German public along some theme....I think they've lost a fair number of viewers over the past decade or two.  The flip-flop routine?  Just one of a dozen problems that they have. 

No comments: