Here in New York, WPIX (Channel 11) has completely revamped its news format, adding fiery commentary segments by Greg Mocker (wearing his attacks on the MTA or others as badges of honor) and the bombastic "Lionel" (whose written blog is nowhere near as over-the-top as his televised pieces.) On FOX-5 (WNYW), they don't even bother to call their on-air talent "reporters" or "journalists" anymore -- their Website lists them as "personalities," like Anne Craig who covers entertainment in giddy fan-girl fashion. It even fills its airtime with comedians roaming the streets of New York videotaping passersby -- no real news value, just laughs.
I'm not saying this is all necessarily a bad thing. The staples of television newscasts have become stagnant cliches and could use some shaking up, but the results so far seem amateurish. We shall see if it results in higher ratings, but is it worth it if we lose the positive goals of objectivity in journalism? Some of us still want our reporters to at least try to hide their personal biases and just give us the facts so we can ask questions and draw our own conclusions.