Kevin Spacey: What’s happened to broadcast journalism?

New York Times political reporter Mark Leibovich did a Times Talk last night with actors Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and producer Beau Willimon about the hit Netflix series “House of Cards”.

Kevin Spacey as character Congressman Frank Underwood in Netflix’s “House of Cards” / photo:

If you haven’t been watching, Spacey plays a democratic congressman from South Carolina who gets involved with a political journalist. The conversation turned to the state of broadcast journalism and Spacey gave his thoughts about what has happened to the news industry.

“What happened when the news had to make money and when ratings became important? And when the conglomerates that looked at the publishing firm that they owned and the movie studio that they owned and looked at the news division and said “Well why shouldn’t that just be as profitable as a profit center as all these other divisions?” And I believe perhaps Edward Murrow might have said better than anybody, the moment you have to make the news compete with entertainment it’s no longer the news. It’s entertainment. And that that aspect of the news disappoints me. That it is now, they have to compete with entertainment. And I think that that as a knock on effect has perhaps changed the style in which journalists are forced to report the news.”

I think there is a lot of truth in what he says.

As a side note, there were sound issues with the interview. If you choose to watch you’ll hear better if you wear headphones.


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