Tight Budget Times

Seldom does an afternoon news meeting pass at Channel 4… without someone making a crack about these “tight budget times”. We never use it on air, but It’s become the catchy cliché that precedes the rundown of all the stories we’re doing that day on what has become the most recent economic meltdown. It’s not that it’s funny. It’s just that after something like a whole year of reporting how bad the economy is, with no relief in sight, it’s starting to feel less like news and more like a way of life we’re all going to have to figure out how to suffer through.

In college a professor once gave some profound advice about how to determine when something is newsworthy. The guy looked a hundred, smoked a pipe, and had a crazy looking beard that made him look more like a child molester than a journalism teacher… but I digress. What he said was, “When dog bites man… (long pause) it isn’t news. Now when man bites dog… (longer pause) now THAT’S news.”

I know what you’re thinking. It sounds a little like something you might pull out of a fortune cookie, but it was pretty good advice. Is it news anymore that we’re all going broke filling up our gas tank, or that many of our friends and family members have lost their jobs not to mention their insurance as a result of company’s downsizing? After a while don’t the stories become so routine that they’re no longer news? No. The truth is… until the hemorrhaging stops, we news people will keep talking about it. The real question is… how much worse will the stories get?

The other day as I was pouring a pair of new shoes down my gas tank (figuratively speaking) I actually saw an advertisement that made me realize just how tight the budget times truly are. For a split second I actually considered buying six hundred dollars worth of Kroger gift cards and using them myself just to get the 30-dollar gift card they were giving away as a bonus. Pre-paid groceries? It’s absurd. It was like the gas fumes created some kind of mirage that had me believing I actually HAD 600-bucks in my account to do it with.

Anyway, sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying, and I’d say we’re headed there. If you have any funny stories about ways you’re dealing with the “Tight Budget Times” send them our way. I’d love to share them.


2 Responses

  1. Your blogs are pretty entertaining, so keep them up… I sort of expected to read this and be put to sleep, but I was thoroughly entertained…. That wasn’t meant to offend, but it was merely a statement on how upper management dips their hand into the employees cookie jars sometimes…. So, kudos for channel 4 in allowing you to write candidly…

    I’m Nashville’s only licensed and bonded superhero… So, the economy is really no worry of mine… Most of the time, when I save people in peril, they give me things like money, casseroles, knitted clothing and various other knick knacks. Couple that, with the fact I can fly, and I’m pretty well set… Not that I’m rubbing it in or anything 🙂

  2. I never realized a “crazy looking beard” was an indentifiable characteristic of child molesters. Few of these female teachers who are screwing their students these days have a beard at all.

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