Print and TV journalists have co-existed since daily newscasts began the late 1940s with short nightly reports. Each industry covers, as well as competes with, the other. Send students to last week’s papers to see what was said about Katie Couric’s new job.
Consistency and familiarity create comfort with any product, including a news delivery source. Invite students to discuss how newspapers help readers feel comfortable each day.
Like all journalists, Couric tries to earn and keep the public’s trust. Have each class member list at least three ways newspapers build trust and credibility.
A popular, longtime morning TV host has new working hours at a new network for more money. Katie Couric, co-host of “The Today Show” on NBC for 15 years, Tuesday began serving as managing editor and anchor of weeknight newscasts on CBS for $15 million a year. She’s the first woman selected to work alone as evening news anchor for a major network, and her name is in the program’s title.
“The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” is a high-profile showcase for the 49-year-old widowed mother of girls aged 10 and 15. Some viewers see her as a symbol of women’s success in a field dominated by men not so long ago. Legendary anchors Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather are among her CBS predecessors. “It is past time for any job in America to be for men only,” says columnist Rochelle Riley of the Detroit Free Press. “Every woman in America must have the opportunity to do every job. That includes being the face that is connected to every news story for a major network. ... Soon, we won't be able to say ‘the first woman to ...’ anymore.”
Couric’s bosses hope her arrival and other changes will help CBS climb out of last place in the evening news ratings among the three traditional networks. “They paid Katie the big bucks because she brings people,” says Alex Jones, director of a media center at Harvard University.
Couric says: “It's not all about me -- although as the anchor, I'm going to have a presence. But I think people are more interested in the actual content and substance of what they're hearing.''
Broadcaster says: “`I really hope she succeeds because I do believe it's a monumental moment for women. It's amazing to me that it's 2006 and we still haven't broken this barrier. If she succeeds, it will open the door for more opportunities for women at that level.'' -- Diane Dwyer, weekend news anchor in San Jose, California.
TV writer says: "TV's first solo woman anchor, it seems, will preside over a news-flavored broadcast that consists of one or two news pieces, a few headlines and a host of soft features." -- Barry Garron, Hollywood Reporter (entertainment industry newspaper)
Front Page Talking Points is written by
Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2013
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