We are losing our faith in TV news as fast as those high-speed chases it’s so happy to show us. At the same time, we’re driving like maniacs on the social-media highway, letting it all hang out with the top down.
What do they have to do with each other? Both are advertiser-supported media. One prints money, the other not so much, at least not yet. And yet one is on the downswing, the other ascendant. What does this say about human nature and tapping into elusive and guilty pleasures?
In its annual poll, Gallup Politics found that only 21 percent of respondents expressed a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in TV news – less than half what it was when the poll was first conducted in 1993, but down only a point from last year.
But then this report, from RTDNA and Hofstra: TV news hiring is up – way up:
The survey found that TV news added 1,131 jobs in 2011 to reach a total full-time employment tally of 27,653, representing a 4.3% gain over the previous year. (The highest level of TV news staffing occurred in 2000).
42.9% of stations reported that they increased staff in 2011 and 46.2% said that staff size stayed the same. Fox-affiliates were more likely than any other group to increase staff size, and stations in the South were more likely to have added employees than stations in other regions.