Friday, September 26, 2008

Jeff Weiser on WNYC Morning Programs

"Morning Edition" is a straight ahead, standard radio news program with a traditional approach. There are many NPR stories, reported by correspondents from around the world. This morning the top stories focused on the news of the day including the Wall Street crisis, United Nations developments and a story about a Chinese space shot. The production style is traditional with little conversation or chit chat. It is pretty much "just the facts." The shows hosts appear to be following the footsteps of long time "Morning Edition" anchor Bob Edwards, who delivered the news with a deep, resonant voice in a traditional style.

"The Takeaway" is a snappy, more casual news program with rock music bumper sounds and segues. The hosts and hostesses are conversational and try to sprinkle the show with humorous, pithy comments. The program on WNYC is interspersed with local news inserts featuring local stories such as the recent NYPD stun gun police controversy and a story about the Tappan Zee bridge. On the days I listened, there appears to be a liberal editorial news bias. Host John Hockenberry took a listener call poking fun at Sarah Palin, there was an indepth interview with a scientist suggesting the recent hurricanes are being caused by the burning of fossil fuels and today political director Andrea Bernstein featured interviews in a lower income area of Maryland where she said all voters are in favor of Barack Obama. Two days ago, a lengthy segment appeared critical of John McCain's decision to withdraw from the debate. The show host and most callers discussed "multi-tasking" and said McCain ought to be better at handling multiple tasks at once. I did not detect any bias in the reporting I heard on "Morning Edition."

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