Saying no to TV

Last night, a local television station asked to interview me “on the current state of the newspaper industry and what the future may hold.” The reporter said he had read  these posts.

I’ve been on television many times, and I have no great desire to be on television again. I know enough about how reporting works that on controversial topics; there’s always a risk that you’ll say the wrong thing or the reporter will cut the tape the wrong way.

On the other hand, I’m a former journalist, and I teach broadcast students. It seems like I should do it, if for no other reason that I watch the students struggle to get people to call them back, much less agree to an interview.

On the third hand, this request came from a good television station and I respect the reporters there.

But I told the reporter no.

I have opinions and thoughts on the future of journalism and newspapers. I know that daily newspapers aren’t long for this world, at least in Greensboro, and that makes me sad. Perhaps the weeklies will spring into something more widely circulated, but I have my doubts.

But I can’t think of anyway to talk about that without talking about the News & Record, which is why the reporter called me. I don’t think highly of the way the people who now own the News & Record are handling things. But I’m not going to criticize the News & Record on television. I have too many friends in the newsroom still there. And I can’t think of any way the television report will help either journalism, the paper or the community.