Reuters CEO Andrew Rashbass was at The Paley Center for Media yesterday, and he took on a blunt but entertaining question posed by moderator Jeff Jarvis: “does TV news have to suck?”
Rashbass conceded the news business faces a myriad of challenges, but rooting out the less newsy bits amid the serious reporting isn’t necessarily a good idea:
I think there are lots of ways people find out what’s going on in the world and I think that if we, on the supplier end, get too earnest about the “eating your vegetables” side of news, then I don’t think we are actually fulfilling, actually, our societal purpose and…if that’s what you mean by TV news sucking, then as I say…I think the issue for TV news is a slightly different one which has resulted in some of the characteristics you’re leading to there. And it’s because a lot of the role, TV news has traditionally done, is now being done in other ways. And therefore, I think it’s more a question of relevance rather than anything else. So, as I say, the sort of fun side of TV news or the entertainment side of TV news, I actually rather like.