Something a friend liked on Facebook recently made me think… (click to enlarge)
This is a screen shot of an NBC station posting to Facebook about how you should watch the news tonight because they’re going to tell you about a scam that is “preying on fear.” Someone comments under the post saying that by using a teaser like that, the NBC station is “preying on fear” to try to get people to watch their news show.
So here are two reasons the news needs to stop doing this.
1) The TV news is not what it used to be. By the time the news comes on, it’s not really news. You are repeating what I probably already know, assuming I’ve spent any time today on the internet or social media. If you want to win my viewership, be the best newscast out there. Have good stories, good reporters, good anchors. Don’t try to scare me into watching something I can Google for now or tomorrow.
2) To me, and to the people who responded to that NBC station, a scam is an important piece of information that shouldn’t wait. Time may be of the essence. People’s lives or finances may be affected. When an earthquake happens here, the news tells you things about it. They don’t say, “Did the Bay Area get another earthquake? Tune in at 11pm to find out.” If you have news that is time sensitive, or that knowing earlier could change someone’s lives, JUST TELL US.
Bonus reason: This was posted to Facebook on a business page. That means it was seen by people who opted into get updates from that NBC station. That means they probably already ARE your viewers! Just give them the news they signed up to hear. Don’t tell them on Facebook to go watch TV later. That’s like saying, “Please tweet us tomorrow to learn something important.” Want to keep people engaged on Facebook? Give them what they opted in to know.