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Why Do TV Networks (Competitors) Report On Each Other?

Why Do TV Networks (Competitors) Report On Each Other?

I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes I wonder why?one TV network would report on– and give free publicity to– another competing network.

I’ve noticed this lately more than ever before.

Today for example, I saw NBC?News posted a front-page story about Diane Sawyer stepping down from ABC World News. ?CBS, FOX, and CNN?did, too.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 4.59.53 PM

NBC Nightly News, hosted by Brian Williams, is a fierce competitor of ABC World News, so why would NBC News be sharing this news online?

My guess? Web Traffic.

Peer Pressure: Let’s do it because everyone is doing it.

John King of CNN-resized-600Remember when big breaking news happened, and many high profile news organizations rushed to get info on TV, then they were wrong? Why not just wait to get the info confirmed, then report it?

Some news organizations have essentially said, “We have high standards here. But if we don’t report this speculation, then another station (with lower standards) will publish it and people will find out online anyways.”

Some stations essentially say: “Let’s publish it because everyone else will publish it anyways.” And they want the traffic.

It seems to be the same principle here, in my opinion.

Scrounging For Traffic

If the general public might be interested in the fact that Sawyer is being replaced, they will probably click on an article about it.

I think online news teams might be saying, “Yes, ABC is our competitor, but why don’t we gain some web clicks from this news? People are going to find out anyways; why not from us?”

Would this have been the mindset of news organizations 30 years ago? I don’t think so. The web made this happen.

When people are scrolling through social media, and they see a bit of news shared by a friend,?if they are interested, they will probably click to read more. It doesn’t necessarily matter which news organization posted it.

Is Media Reporting Mainstream?

Media reporting probably isn’t mainstream yet. I think sites like TVNewser– which reports the “insiders baseball” of TV news– will continue to be considered “inside baseball” and not appeal to the general public .

But I do think you will see this more often. You will probably see?ABC reporting on NBC, and other networks doing the same,?to gain traffic. What do you think??

Is this a trend? Is this good for journalism? Tweet me @marcusharun

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