Observer: Kill The Cable News Ticker Once and for All

By Alex Weprin 

The New York Observer‘s Kat Stoeffel argues that the now-ubiquitous ticker at the bottom of the cable news channels should be killed off, and should only be used in extreme circumstances. As Steoffel notes, the ticker first became a daily feature of cable news 10 years ago on 9/11, but it never went away, despite at least one effort to end the practice from MSNBC:

Indeed, the widgets adorning a cable news broadcast threaten to cannibalize the primacy of the television’s breaking news authority. Like spending a date scrolling one’s iPhone under the table, the crawl’s messages are in competition with the ones coming out of anchor’s mouth. It disintegrates the intimacy that bonds viewers to their anchor—the relationship that dictates to whom they turn in moments of chaos and crisis. In 2007, Eric Ober, a CBS News executive in the ’90s, said that distracting viewers from the message the anchor is trying to convey is “the worst thing you can do on a TV screen.”

What do you think? Should the cable news ticker be sent out to pasture?