Journalists are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. --George Bernard Shaw Gene Minshall has a passion for something the vast majority of TV news organizations don't: Journalism. This is a thoroughly entertaining, yet provocative book that gives the average viewer an understanding of why local news is so dreadfully bad. For the involved citizen, this is a must read. --Karl Idsvoog, Professor, School of Journalism, Kent State University A wonderfully informative book and a great entertaining read about the business of local TV news. --Larry Wacholtz, Ph.D. Professor of Entertainment and Music Business, Belmont University
Gene Minshall was born in Saco in the Northeastern quadrant of Montana, a place that National Geographic has defined as "the Last Real America." Minshall claims that his birth home gave him an untainted perspective of the different cultures he would encounter and the business communities in which he would eventually live and work. After service in the Navy and a degree from the University of Montana, Minshall worked in television stations in Montana and Washington State before ultimately landing at KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, Utah. Serving as a reporter and producer as well as the writer and director of a score of documentaries exploring issues and interests of the day, he eventually became the news director of a rival station. There he directed the daily flow of information and worked with media consultants and management to increase ratings and viewer interest. Minshall is now an independent producer of highly acclaimed corporate videos and documentaries examining public issues and concerns. He is an honored Knight Fellow for the International Center for Journalism in Washington, D.C., and has accepted several lead foreign assignments. Because of his work with political and communication leaders, Minshall was asked by the State Department to work with Third World media centers in order to help them be respectful and responsive to a public anxious to receive news with bias and propaganda. Minshall's goal is to help close the gap between what TV stations are promoting and what exactly is presented to their viewers. He laments media practices that work against fully informing the public and yet is the first to recognize the incredible contributions progressive news department have made. He admits his bias is in favor of the viewers and is anxious to have them receive news that is beyond the hand of management and consultants and more in tune with the nature and competent side of the journalist. Gene hopes that his ideas, as stated in this text, may become a catalyst to encourage news departments to develop a guiding philosophy about their work and public obligations.