Tuesday, September 23, 2008

(Re)Making the News

NTV7 News does a viewer poll every evening.

The audience is asked to give a YES/AGREE or NO/DISAGREE answer (via SMS) to a given question (e.g. "Will Dr. Mahathir's re-entry into UMNO be good for the Opposition?" and so on).

The rationale is clear: To keep viewers tuned in until the news end, so viewers won't be hooked to another channel for good. Judging from results, at least some viewers are responding.

But isn't it a little lame? I mean, why should anyone care what answers the viewers prefer? Or let's phrase this another way: How can we make more people care about the results? How about:

- making the forthcoming programs dependent on the votes (a'la American Idol?) - maybe viewers can vote on the importance or quality of the news items presented? Perhaps viewers can state their preferences of news topics (e.g. typhoons, Obama, ISA, etc.)?

- offering prizes (a'la EPL's Man of the Match contest?) for, say, the most catchy response to the news items? Or for a remarkable newsworthy photo?

- providing an opportunity for viewers themselves to report on selected news items?

- offering a platform for viewer comments on the news items? Like a running multi-commentary at the side-bar?

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