When networks say they are “monitoring” international news there is a significant difference from the era when they covered it.
Monitoring means saving money and human resources by remaining in London and piggybacking on all other international news sources. Monitoring means reading the wires – AP, AFP, Reuters among others, and aggregating as many mutually agreed facts as possible while ‘packaging’ that information in to unilateral reporting. What’s worse is then the reporter says, “We have learned…” Oh yes? Learned from who?
Reporting and coverage once meant doing one’s own work – asking questions – using one’s 5 senses – following leads and owning the story as best one could. Covering any story is about “learning more”… but now, as a verb, it is often a cheap substitute for real work.
Coverage meant something — it meant an investment of time, money, responsibility and staff. Monitoring a story is the lazy approach to news gathering. It is the way news is covered today. It is the sad result of cost cutting for a product that many people don’t seem to value… the news.
While we profess to know more than ever before, and we do have greater access to timely news sources than ever before, US audiences receive fewer and fewer actual reports from network correspondents and more ‘monitored’ and ‘repackaged” news. It just feels less and less honest.