Memorial Day cliche’

Programming legend Lee Abrams sent out the following “think piece” to his e-mail list today (reprinted with permission):

“For your [Memorial Day] holiday media amusement…

“Woke up today — watched Chicago’s channels 2, 5, 7, 9 as well as Weather Channel, CNN, and others. The big story:
‘Holiday traffic.’ Yet EVERY station did it the SAME way:

“Interview with the distressed traveller in front of the departure monitor at a major airport… Whining about delays… Reporter talking about the heavy traffic expected… Stock film of a 737 takeoff… A smarmy comment and ‘Back to you, Bob…’

“Other than the SAME format for the story on every station, that’s been used for 40+ years, there’s no usable information.

“Imagine graphics giving you REAL facts: Best/worst travel hours… expected delays… insights on coping IF you are travelling. OR a simply more interesting interpretation of the story — as pilots, we know of dozens of very cool graphic presentations of air traffic congestion.

“The point: This is media autopilot at its best… when it’s NOT hard to make this omnipresent story interesting and informative.”


Kurt again. So, the question this could raise is this: What are YOU doing that’s an overworked and outdated cliche’ that, if you applied a little creativity, you could do much better?

Kurt Hanson