Cable News Wars

The Columbia Journalism Review's Neil Hickey ponders the impact that cable TV is having on news coverage. "The big story in cable news is the effect that supercharged competition is having on the quality of the prime time cable news schedule. All three networks are battling with the same weapons: talk, opinion, punditry, debate - not to mention the psychedelic, color-saturated graphics, a rataplan of computer-generated sound and screens so crowded with info-bits, including a traveling zipper of text across the bottom, that they look like pinball machines in a penny arcade. ... An evening of cable news watching can leave one overstimulated and underinformed n endless garbaging of opinion with little hard information except for scraps of news at the top of the hour."