Typically, I'm looking for something heartwarming or humorous. But sometimes a story doesn't have to be either. Sometimes a story just has to be fun to watch.
In the TV news business we pitch those kinds of stories to our bosses by saying they have "great visuals." If a story has "great visuals," we'll make up any reason to call it news and put it on the air.
Last night's 60 Minuteswas a perfect example. If you saw the piece about people jumping off of cliffs wearing bird suits, that was epitomy of "great visuals." The story won't win them another Emmy for investigative journalism, but it was wonderful eye-candy.
Likewise, tonight's Assignment Americawon't win me any Cronkite comparisons, but it'll be a heck of a lot of fun to watch.
It's about a group of college students who set out to make the most amazing basketball shots ever caught on camera. No, it won't make you laugh or cry, but I guarantee it'll keep you glued to the screen.
As a follow-up, I'm hoping they next try to make a basket while jumping off a cliff wearing a bird suit! Of course, I'd have to fight 60 Minutes for that story.