The New News Channels

You’re Japan. You’ve set the bar high with your toilets. You need to step it up.

I would love to visit Tokyo, but NHK makes me worry what Japan is really like.

Recently our cable lineup has expanded with One America News Network, Al Jazeera America, NHK, BBC World News and CCTV. That’s a lot of extra news channels. Each is sparsely watched, but worthy of checking out.

OANlogo1The most obscure is OANN, based in San Diego. It’s straight news 24/7 with a few political talk shows, all to the right of what Fox News considers mainstream.

The news is down the middle but suffers greatly with virtually no staff reporters. OANN relies on video services, which have a high percentage of foreign news and plain vanilla writing.

Most of the OANN anchors are young and virtually zombified on-the-air. Seemingly, they’ve been instructed to add no personality to what is already drab. Tough to watch.

OANN does not run cheesy 800 number TV offer commercials! Instead they’ve produced inspirational videos featuring patriotic scenes and unidentified voiceovers. They’re tracks from broadcasts by Edward R. Murrow, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Lots of Richard Nixon!

Without a doubt One America News Network spends less on news than any other network.

al jazeera logo blueAl Jazeera America is surprisingly good. Watch for familiar faces, once elsewhere. The coverage is smart and first rate. This is not a happy talk outfit.

Ratings say audiences aren’t buying it. Lots of people won’t watch because of the name or the owners. They start with that handicap.

I haven’t watched enough Israel/Hamas coverage to get a feel for AJA’s slant. Qatar supports Hamas and controls Al Jazeera. Can their broadcast be trusted?

nhk_series_0_1NHK is Japans national network. This is the country with the crazy game shows, TV screens full of blinking fonts and J-Pop. NHK is the opposite. NHK is the cure for insomnia.

Some of NHK’s non-news programs are dubbed in English. The voices are laid back and boring. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

You’re Japan. You’ve set the bar high with your toilets. You need to step it up.

I would love to visit Tokyo, but NHK makes me worry what Japan is really like.

I don’t even stop to sample NHK anymore. Always disappointing.

bbc-world-newsWe got the BBC months ago. I thought I’d watch it a lot. I don’t.

Their reporters and presenters are great, but I find the production cumbersome and intrusive. The gigantic news set is supposed to be part of the production, but gets in the way more often than not. It’s a distraction.

No one has more reporters than BBC. It makes a difference. I have watched them for breaking news, especially in the late evenings when America’s cable networks think everyone is asleep. Great reporters.

I’m a sporadic viewer.

cctv newsFinally, CCTV. It is on Channel 3602! CCTV is buried in a block of foreign language channels, specifically a section of Chinese language channels. All the other news stations are in the 1200s. There are no other English channels above 2000.

I discovered CCTV by accident while attempting to thumb through all my channels.

CCTV NEWS is the English language news channel of China Central Television (CCTV), the nation’s largest national broadcasting network.

It’s owned by the Chinese government. CCTV does feature many American and British, non-Chinese, anchors and reporters. That was a surprise.

I haven’t known about this long enough to have an opinion. It’s just weird that China has a TV station on my cable system.