I finally watched the new “news” format, NewsFix, on Houston’s KIAH 39.
They did a story on National Geographic’s recent typical person story, which crunches global data to arrive at the fact that the most typical person on the planet, in terms of demographics, is a 28-year-old Han Chinese man, as they explain here:
Channel 39’s punchline? If this is our world’s typical man, why is our fried rice delivery always so late?
Oh, yes, they went straight from an academic point about global demographics to a racist trope about Chinese take-out food.
Racism isn’t edgy. It’s racism.
What is NewsFix, you may ask? A bit like TMZ does hard news, although even that description is a stretch. I’m going to quote their lengthy description in case they go back to edit this amazing post about the 15 things NewsFix is:
THE EYE: People use their computers to watch the world in action. But it sure looks better on a big TV screen. We are about hard core cinematic stimulation of the eye rarely seen on TV.
THE EARS: NEWSFIX unleashes the world of sound for a one-two eye/ear sensory punch. The sound ranges from Patsy Cline to U2 to a 40’s Newsreel to Natural Sound to Sound Effects, and beyond. The show has a seamless soundtrack where the sound never stops and it’s all garnered from the literally millions of pieces at our fingertips. Limitless potential from AC/DC to Zamfir.
THE VOICE: Strong “narration” written in street-speak not Journalism-speak. WATCH NEWSFIX and you’ll be knocked out by the magic. But, you can LISTEN to NEWSFIX and still be engaged and into it.
THE BALANCE: NEWSFIX is an eclectic mix that takes viewers (and listeners) on a journey from amazing footage of a global news event to retro footage to eccentric street footage to “trademark” segments. It’ll be a combination of surprise with benchmarks to create a mix that IS the pulse of 2010 America. Predictably unpredictable.
LIVING IN OUR WORLD NOT THE TV WORLD: It will be a serious offense for staff members to watch other TV stations. It’s poisonous. The inspiration needs to come from YouTube, UGC, cool Internet sites, movies and other places where audio and visual innovation reside NOT TV stations.
THE ATTITUDE: We ARE out to change the world. WE recognize that local TV Newsis sick and addicted to the old school playbook.
THE POV: What the regular guy thinks. We don’t take sides: Pelosi is a complete bozo? Sure .But Sarah Palin probably is too. We are NOT vanilla!
WE DO NOT CELEBRATE CELEBRITY: We call’em out.
THE FOCUS: EVERYthing needs to stay within the NEWSFIX vision otherwise we risk being TOO creative in terms of unfocused. Within the NEWSFIX look, sound, voice, style and vision there are NO rules. Think of it like The Beatles or U2 they experiment and innovate, but they always stay within their basic sound.
ECCENTRIC ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK: Focused and in sync with the vision, NEWSFIX eccentricity will tap into the warped American culture in a way that the suit driven Networks cannot even fathom.
IT IS NOT A WEBSITE: There’ll be a web component, but first and foremost, this is a TV SHOW, but one that capitalizes on what TV does best: Pictures, sound and a story and eliminates what TV has become, an Oniony (must viewing for all staff is Onion TV) parody of itself fueled by focus groups and “TV vets” who forgot how to think about 15 years ago.
HONESTY: If there’s another 9/11 we may send people to Fox News instead of pretending we have the answers. We NEVER:
–Tell people as in “Be sure to watch”
–Suggest they are idiots “Hey, don’t forget ”
–Pretend we’re something we’re not. If we don’t know we say that.
–Talk in TV Bullshit: “The 10 O’Clock News is on now” Duh!
–If The President says something that rolls the national eye we call him out
IT IS NOT A COMEDY SHOW: It is the ultimate reality show as we, with cinematics and sound, present the state of the world.
WE ARE NOT “YOUTH SKEWING” We’re beyond that. We do what we do and if a 19 year old likes it cool. A 70 year old? Cool also.
THE ART OF TV: NEWSFIX will be staffed by Media artists. To the corporate world, art often means “lets do weird stuff that makes no money” To us, art is a secret weapon that can elevate us to a higher level of execution… that breeds massive success.
Copyright © 2011, KIAH-TV
Wow. Let’s hope this ends quickly. I feel terrible for the actual journalists who were let go so that this could be broadcast.