What TV News Could Be

Michael Rosenblum
3 min readFeb 26, 2024

When Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450, he printed a bible.

He printed a bible because that was the only model that the world had of what a book was supposed to look like.

Gutenberg could have printed The New York Times. He had all the technology he needed to do that. But it would take more than 300 years before anyone used a printing press to create a newspaper.

The limit was not the technology; the limit was imagination.

When television was invented in the 1950’s, no one knew what TV news was supposed to look like. The medium had never existed before, and so, like Gutenberg a half a millennium, prior, the first creators of TV news had to fall back on a medium with which they were familiar, and that was radio.

The earliest creators of TV news simply wheeled their large and unwieldy cameras into radio news studios and pointed them at the newsreader, sitting behind their desks, reading copy into a microphone.

When you watch TV news now, in 2024, and you see the anchor sitting at a desk reading copy off a teleprompTer, what you are really watching is radio news 1938, put on TV.

When you watch a live shot of a reporter in the field, breathlessly delivering a news story, clutching a microphone and staring into the camera, what you are looking at is also 1938 radio news with a camera pointed at it. “The humanity… the humanity,” as the Hindenberg burns.

There is a reason that viewership for TV news is down. It has not changed, really, since 1938. It is not enough to redesign the set or change the graphics or play musical chairs with the anchor personalities.

We live in a world in which we are inundated with vast amounts of nonsense posing as news. A quick look at TikTok will tell you that the earth is actually flat, with lots of very convincing video proof; that no one ever went to the moon — all carefully documented; and, as I discovered only a few days ago, that Princess Di was actually killed by Zionists who were concerned that she might soon call for the recognition of Palestine.

This would be funny if it were not so frightening. 50% of Americans now go to social media as their primary source of news, and an even more frightening 83% of people age 16–32 get their news from social media.

Dependable journalism has never been more important, but there is no point in going to all the effort of researching and crafting a great story if no one watches it. NBC Nightly News get 5 million viewers on an average night, out of a nation of 340 million.

So how do you reach more people and hold their attention?

The answer is not TikTok; nor is it more Fox News. The answer is Netflix.

People binge watch Netflix and pay for it. Why? Because it offers character driven stories. So, as conventional TV news no longer works, suppose we were to take the storytelling elements of Netflix (or Amazon or Hollywood) and marry them to great journalism and reporting?

This is what we have been doing in our bootcamps — and all done by one journalist (like newspaper writing) using only an iPhone.

Take a look at this example from last week’s

bootcamp — done by Emmy Award winning journalist Julie Watts. It’s a great character, an intimate story, beautifully shot and edited, and all done by her on an iPhone, pretty much in a day.

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Michael Rosenblum

Co-Founder TheVJ.com, Father of Videojournalism, trained 40,000+ VJs. Built VJ-driven networks worldwide. Video Revolution. Founder CurrentTV, NYTimes TV. etc..