No “Day-Of” Coverage Of Bush Inauguration

January 20, 2005

Channel One News has all the technical resources to provide live coverage of important events like today’s inauguration of President Bush, but they refuse to do so.

The reason they refuse goes to the purpose of Channel One. The company’s purpose is NOT to timely inform students of current events. The company was NOT founded by journalists or educators. It was created by a group of advertising and marketing men who thought they could make a small fortune from bring commercials into classrooms.

Channel One News has two “reporters” in D.C. this week. They have a camera crew. They have a satellite truck that beams their signal back to Channel One’s studio in Hollywood. Channel One normally edits their TV show at night and sends their signal out early the next morning. This makes their news stale. Today they could have sent a live signal out to schools who could have piped it into classrooms to show the swearing in of President Bush.

If there was a technical reason that made that cost prohibitive, they could have edited and sent out a tape-delayed show this afternoon to give students a glimpse of what happened earlier in the day. Students could gone home and told their parents that they had already seen the President taking the oath. But that would have meant a little more work for Channel One and… that isn’t going to happen. As it was, students DID see the President sworn in because teachers turned their Channel One TV sets to real news networks or cable news channels. When it comes to timely news, Channel One News is always dead last.

CNN produces CNN StudentNews which is a rival to Channel One News. Many more schools use StudentNews than C1N. Of course, CNN supplemented their StudentNews reports by providing virtually all-day coverage of the inauguration.

Channel One could have put a web cast of the inauguration on their web site. That would have been relatively inexpensive. As of 7:00 pm tonight, Channel One has no video coverage of today’s events. All Channel One News has is an AP story on the event that was posted this afternoon.

What students saw on today’s Channel One News show was a report on the Secret Service. This report could have been in the can for weeks.

Obligation’s Jim Metrock said, “The world has moved passed Channel One News. They always go cheap when it comes to students and it is increasingly difficult for schools to defend the worth of the program. As with their non-coverage of the tsunami story in December, Channel One is getting one black eye after another. Channel One’s first video news story on the December 26 tragedy was on January 4. Channel One’s signature phrase should be ‘No news is good news.’ “

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