Ted Koppel, who anchored ABC’s Nightline program for 25 years, rarely watches the program now because he says it has become more focused on entertainment than information and news.
Koppel: It’s no secret they have become hugely successful, precisely because they are doing what I really didn’t want ‘Nightline’ to do.
Koppel lamented that most of the overseas bureaus that existed when he was a young foreign correspondent have been shut down and he said that wasn’t healthy. He thought that if anything, we need more information on what is going on in the rest of the world than we did 40 years ago.
Where has Koppel been lately? Thanks to the Internet we now have far more information than we did even five years ago and in some cases we get too much information. As to Koppel’s point of entertainment having overtaken news and information, he is probably right as there is more of a tendency towards tabloid journalism than the type or journalism Koppel prefers.
Even Koppel has to admit, though, that foreign news bureaus are not as vital to gathering news as they were 40 years ago. Technology has made them largely obsolete and they tend to be a huge drag on profits which have been sliding for years at the networks, making foreign bureaus an easy target for elimination.
Koppel represents a breed of journalists that is dying out and the likes of which we may never see again. I think that’s what bothers Koppel more than anything else.