Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NBC-TV: T-minus Seven Days

by Samantha Pompeo

A few days ago, I was reading an article about how news media will react to the end of the elections. The question was posed about what networks like NBC will talk about when the president-elect is decided. It made me think about how much of a news program's rundown is based on the election. Looking at any "Nightly News," it's obvious that multiple minutes are devoted to what's going on on the campaign trail. And with only a few short days until voters head to the polls, NBC is making last minute attempts to help undecided voters decide.

There may not be a lot of time left before the end of the campaign, but a lot has happened in the meantime. On the Today Show, there was a wonderful long package about the road to the White House. It seems to focus more on Obama than McCain, but that could be because Obama had to fight for his spot as the Democratic candidate.

And then today, the Matt Lauer talked to NBC's chief political director about polls.

But with so little time left, why are we focusing on polls? With so little time left, shouldn't the focus be on where the candidates are, what they're saying, and how the campaigns are wrapping up? I feel like I'm repeatedly asking the same question: where are the issues? But as a journalist, I have to remember the bottom line: ratings. Will the issues bring in ratings? Maybe not, but they're what the campaign is and should be about. And networks like NBC should do their best to help inform and educate the viewer, regardless of how the ratings may fair.

T-minus seven days until the historic decision. This is when the fun begins.

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