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Two Cents

"Maybe the stories ought to be even more slanted. Make the slant obvious, but then drop the usual hogwash about journalism being objective, because it isn't, it can't be, and we should give up trying."

Radio talk-show host and "Minnesota's Mr. Right" Jason Lewis, KSTP(AM) St. Paul, Minn., speaking to Eric Black, of Minnesota's Star Tribune.

"What have we learned from our experiments in cross-cultural TV exchanges? Well, mostly that the British versions are better. To be sure, there's a reflexive American modesty in the elevation of British imports above domestic products, but you just need to compare American shows with the British originals to see that this isn't just a matter of being charmed by the accents."'s June Thomas.

"Reality television: So you want to strike in a year when reality programming has never been stronger? For those unclear on the concept, reality programming doesn't need writers or actors. It's also the runaway hit of last summer and fall, delivering to the networks the kind of numbers they could only dream about two years ago. Or, for some perspective, the kind of numbers routinely pulled in by the finest of series, like ER and The West Wing—but with five million or six million more viewers tossed on top as an exclamation point."

Tim Goodman, of the San Francisco Chronicle, citing one very good reason why writers, particularly in the TV business, should not strike this summer.

"The Founders didn't count on the rise of mega-media. They didn't count on huge private corporations that would own not only the means of journalism but also vast swaths of the territory that journalism should be covering. According to a recent study done by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press for the Columbia Journalism Review, more than a quarter of journalists polled said they had avoided pursuing some newsworthy stories that might conflict with the financial interests of their news organizations or advertisers. And many thought that complexity or lack of audience appeal causes newsworthy stories not to be pursued in the first place."

Bill Moyers, writing in The Nation on the challenges facing journalists in a corporate-controlled media environment.

"I think what agencies are saying is that there are some networks or shows that were traditionally underreported in the past that are probably going to see increases and that there were certain high-profile shows that were overreported."

Karen Agresti, senior vice president, director of broadcast for the Hill, Holliday ad agency, on the introduction by Boston TV of the People Meters by Nielsen Media Research, as reported by Joel Brown of the Boston Herald.

"The next thing I'm waiting for is a card that will give my computer the capabilities of a refrigerator. Then I'll never have to walk to the kitchen again."

Michael James of The Baltimore Sun reviewing the merits of ATI Technologies' Radeon All-In-Wonder video card, allowing the user, via a personal computer, greater control over cable channels than previously provided by TV sets.

"Organizers of TV-Turnoff Week appear to have loaded their sling with marshmallows by scheduling their TV-free campaign to begin Monday, taking on not only the combined might of the television networks as they start the most important sweeps period of the year—when best programming feet are put forward—but, in the case of Survivor: The Australian Outback, an adoring army of media foot soldiers, as well."

Brian Lowry, of The Los Angeles Times, on the uphill task facing those crusaders who are trying to heave Americans off the couch and out into the fresh air.