Monday, May 18, 2015

Why TV News Doesn't Cover the Supreme Court

In a discussion with Ta-Nehisi Coates at the CUNY graduate school of journalism, Chris Hayes described the three visuals that are available when television news has to cover the Supreme Court.

They are:

  • An exterior shot of the building, panning up
  • A slow pan over the words "equal justice under law"
  • The group photo of the nine justices, in front of a red curtain, that's done each fall when they begin their term.
And that's it. All networks and cable stations show the same shots, over and over.

He says that this is why the court isn't covered more. With nothing to see, it's hard for television to talk about it, because they need visuals and sound. "You show me a car on fire and we will put that f*&#ing thing on air for an hour. Because you can't turn away from watching something burn."

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