Faculty turn off news-source sensationalism

From the moment many students wake up, news floods through their dorm rooms and apartments by way of the television or the Internet, but for TCU professors, it’s a different story.Jan Lacina, an assistant professor of education, said she enjoys watching “Primetime,” “20/20” and the “Today Show” but admitted she doesn’t have much time for TV.

“I have two young children and I work full-time so I don’t have much time to do a lot of things,” Lacina said. “I enjoy reading and writing because they are more stimulating.”

The interest that is raised from these broadcast news shows is usually sparked by elaborate titles and enticing previews that draw the viewer in, Lacina said.

“Ten years ago, I would say the shows were about news, but now, they are more sensationalized. They are focusing less on the news and spending more time on Brad (Pitt) and Angelina (Jolie).”

Kerry Cornelius, associate director of the ranch management program, agreed with Lacina’s statement that the news is becoming more sensationalized and less about the news.

“A story has to be sensationalized to make it on the news,” said Cornelius, who also said he used to watch broadcast news shows. “So now, everything is sensationalized, which makes things pretty slanted.”

Cornelius said he doesn’t watch much television anymore because he doesn’t have the time, but when he does, it’s usually satellite television.

On the other end of the spectrum, the department of political science chairman Jim Riddlesperger said he rarely watches television and gets a majority of his news from print newspapers.

“(Reading the paper) is a far more efficient way of getting my news, and I’ve found the depth of the reporting is far superior to the reporting on television,” Riddlesperger said. “I am much more in favor of print journalism.