“We can bring you anything at pretty much any time,” boasted Alex Witt, an MSNBC anchor and correspondent, about the speed with which cable news can bring stories to viewers.
In her lecture, titled “How Cable News Has Changed the Media,” Feb. 23 in Kreider Hall, Witt said that up-to-date news is now available to American audiences around the clock. Almost as soon as reporters become aware of election results, natural disasters and other important events, Americans can see them unfold in their living rooms.
“Being able to bring the immediacy of what’s going on in the world,” according to Witt, is what makes the cable news “different and better than regular TV.”
Cable news relies on highly developed technology that has made it possible to broadcast events that are remote, dangerous and otherwise inaccessible to large live audiences. Speaking of TV events that were made possible thanks to the cable news, Witt reminded the GCC audience of the MSNBC’s coverage of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s state bus tour during the last gubernatorial election in California and MSNBC’s live broadcast of firefights in Iraq.
“We can bring you anything at pretty much any time,” said Witt.
However, there’s also a downside to the fact that cable news is able to bring continual coverage of national and world news to millions of people. Since the news services are live, mistakes happen in front of millions of viewers. With no time to edit them out of the broadcast, retractions become a necessary part of cable news services.
Since cable news is live, “it’s not always flawless, not always perfect, not always super polished,” admits the anchor.
Nonetheless Witt believes that “the cable news has completely revolutionized the news industry.”
Before joining MSNBC in 1999, Witt worked for various TV stations in Los Angeles and New York. In her journalistic career, Witt has covered such events as gubernatorial elections, presidential election, and the terrorist attack of Sep. 11, 2001, to name just a few.
The lecture was the fifth in the annual Lang Lecture Series, which opens the spring semester Humanities/Social Science Lecture Series at GCC. The Lang Lecture Series was established by Veloris Lang, retired Dean of Letters, Arts and Sciences.