Former NBC correspondent David Hazinski, now a professor at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism, is calling for
"a broadcast news rating system similar to what Hollywood uses to rate movies." (Hat tip: Newslab
.) Here are a few of his proposed designations:
P-D-N ("Promotion Disguised as News"): This can range from a CNN anchor suggesting you can get a lot more information about a story on the network's paid Pipeline Web service to "Good Morning America" airing a three-minute excerpt from a Michael Jackson interview to try to persuade you to tune in to "20/20" that night.
S-D-N ("Scolding Disguised as News"): This could be applied to everything from Grace to O'Reilly —even to portions of "60 Minutes," where reporting is replaced with attacking people.
F-L ("Fake Live"): Or what some call "Live For The Sake of Live." This one would be used constantly by local news and occasionally by networks where some poor reporter is stuck "reporting from the scene" when the event either has been over for five hours or won't start until next week. And finally:
S-N ("Straight News"): This category would include new information important or interesting to viewers, with facts that have been verified and reporting devoid of promotion or opinion.
This is never going to happen, but it's interesting to think about how it would play out if it did. There are those who believe that an S-N designation should never be used, since there's no such thing as reporting devoid of opinion. But what about the rest of you? What percent of the news is S-N, and where do we find it? What about S-D-N, aka scolding designed as news? My pet peeve is the F-L (fake live) reportage. Wouldn't you rather see a new story than have a reporter continue to tell you that there are no new developments in the story he or she is being forced to keep covering?
© 2006 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.