Hari Sreenivasan

  • Aired:  01/22/14
  •  | Views: 18,421

"PBS NewsHour Weekend" anchor Hari Sreenivasan describes the fundamental differences between PBS's mission and that of 24-hour cable news. (5:43)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACKMY GUEST

TONIGHT THE WEEKEND ANCHOR OFPBS NEWSHOUR.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAMHARI SREENIVASEN.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]HELLO.

♪ FIRST OF ALL, CONGRATULATIONS TO

YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Jon: YOU ARE NOW, YOU WEREREPORTING FOR NEWSHOUR DURING

THE WEEK AND NOW YOU ARE THEWEEKEND ANCHOR.

>> YES, IT'S A HALF HOUR SHOWBUT IT'S STILL CALLED THE

NEWSHOUR.

TWO HALF HOURS MAKE AN HOUR, SOYEAH.

>> Jon: I KNOW.

[ LAUGHTER ]I WATCH PBS.

LISTEN TO ME, YOU DO LONG FORMREPORTING --

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: NOT SENSATIONALIZED.

THE STORIES ARE WELL THOUGHTOUT.

THEY ARE NOT FOCUSED ONCONFLICT.

THEY ARE FOCUSED ON ISSUES OFGOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION. IS

THAT WHY YOU NEED OUTSIDE MONEYTO KEEP GOING?

>> IT'S THE LAST PLACE ON TVWHERE YOU CAN FIND INTELLIGENT

INFORMED PEOPLE DISAGREEAGREEABLY ABOUT MATTERS THAT

MATTER NIGHT AFTER NIGHT.

WE TOTAL MISSED TWERKING.

WE DIDN'T COVER MILEY CYRUSNEARLY ENOUGH AND WE MIGHT GET

AN AWARD FOR THAT.

>> Jon: IF IT COMES BACKAROUND, YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT

IT AGAIN.

I THINK IT WILL.

[LAUGHTER]DO YOU WATCH OTHER NEWS

PROGRAMS?

>> YES.

>> Jon: DO YOU WATCH THE24 HOUR NETWORKS?

>> SOMETIMES. A FEW HOURS.

NOT ALL 24.

>> Jon: I DO. AS YOU WATCH IT,DO YOU THINK TO YOURSELF,

I KNOW THOSE FOLKS.

THEY ARE FRIENDS OF MINE.

MANY ARE SMART REPORTERS, OH, MYGOD WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO THEM?

>> I USED TO WORK AT ABC AND CBSAND I HAVE FRIENDS AT BOTH

NETWORKS AND OTHERS AS WELL.

WE'RE IN A PUBLIC SERVICEMISSION.

THEY ARE IN AN AUDIENCEBUSINESS.

THEY ARE DOING WHAT IT TAKES TOTRY TO BUILD AUDIENCES AND MAKE

MONEY.

WE LIKE THE AUDIENCE, FRANKLYBUT THAT'S NOT WHAT WE'RE DOING.

I THINK THAT OUR GOAL IS TO TRYTO GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO MAKE

YOU THINK.

AND HOPEFULLY EXPANDS YOURHORIZONS.

EVERYTHING FROM PBS KIDSPROGRAMS TO DOCUMENTARIES TO THE

STUFF -->> Jon: NOW I CAN SEE WHY THEY

WANT TO SHUT YOU GUYS DOWN.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> EVERY AMERICAN SPENDS ABOUT

$1.35.

FOR THAT YOU GET THIS ENTIRECHANNEL FROM DOWNTON ABBEY TO

THE KIDS STUFF TO KEN BURNSDOCUMENTARIES.

>> Jon: THIS JUST TURNED INTOA PLEDGE DRIVE, WHAT THE HELL

JUST HAPPENED HERE?

[LAUGHTER]ALL I'M SAYING IS YOU GET THIS

TOTE BAG AND A COPY OF DIEFLEDERMAUS SIGNED BY BEVERLY

SILLS.

THAT'S AT THE $60 LEVEL.

>> Jon: DO YOU FEEL LIKE NEWSBUDGETS HAVE SHRUNK.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE NEWSBUSINESS ARE THEY DOING A

DISSERVICE BY CREATINGSO MUCH NOISE AND HAS THAT

AFFECTED OUR COUNTRY'S ABILITYTO SOLVE

PROBLEMS OR IS THAT PUTTINGTOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON THE POWER

THEY WIELD?

>> I THINK IT'S AN APPROPRIATEAMOUNT OF EMPHASIS. IT TAKES AN

INFORMED CITIZENRY TO MAKECHANGES THAT COUNT.

IF YOU CONTINUE TO CREATECONTENT THAT IS WEAK, TO PUT IT

MILDLY, I DON'T THINK YOUARE GOING TO HAVE AN INFORMED

CITIZENRY THAT MAKES ANYDECISIONS.

IF YOU WATCH THE HALF HOURNIGHTLY NEWSCAST, IT HAS

SHIFTED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNTSINCE I IMMIGRATED HERE.

AT THAT TIME THERE WERE THREEGUYS.

>> Jon: WAIT A MINUTE, YOU IMM--AND NOW YOU CONTROL OUR NEWS?

>> YEAH, THERE'S THAT.

>> Jon: THAT'S MY PEOPLE'SJOB.

IT'S A LITTLE BACK AND FORTHETHNIC HUMOR.

[ LAUGHTER ]BUT I UNDERSTAND THAT.

YOU KNOW, BUT IT ALMOST FEELSLIKE THE SHOWS AT NIGHT NOW

DON'T DRIVE THE AGENDA.

THE AGENDA IS REALLY DRIVEN NOWON THE 24-HOUR SHOWS AND

BUTTRESSED BY SOME OF THE MOREINFLAMMATORY BLOG OUTLETS.

>> THE BARGAIN USED TO BE GIVEME 22 MINUTES AND I'LL SHOW YOU

THE WORLD.

I'VE READ THE NEWSPAPERS AND I'MGOING TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEEDM

TO KNOW. BUT NOW IT'S I'LL TELLYOU A LITTLE OF WHAT YOU NEED TO

YOKNOW, BUT I'LL ALSO TELL YOUTOWHAT YOU'RE TELLING US

YOU WANT TO KNOW.

I CAN PROGRAM A CHANNEL PEOPLEWILL

WATCH BESIDES COMEDY CENTRAL.

>> Jon: IF YOU CAN DO THATWE WOULD APPRECIATE IT.

>> YOU'LL HAVE CAR CHASES ANDFIRES AND SCANTILY CLAD PEOPLE.

AND THAT WILL SELL GREAT, RIGHT?

>> Jon: WRONG ANSWER.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> BUT THAT'S NOT NEWS TO ME.

IF TIGER WOODS MAKES NEWS LETESPN COVER IT.

IF THE KARDASHIANS MAKE NEWS LETE CHANNEL COVER IT.

IF I'M A DECIDER ABOUTWHAT I WANT

TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT'S NOT IT.

>> Jon: WHAT HAPPENED WITH THEKARDASHIANS?

DID THEY MAKE NEWS IS IT KHLOEIS SHE OKAY?

SHE'S FINE.

>> Jon: THANK YOU.

I APPRECIATE IT. WHEN YOU WATCHNEWS WHAT'S INTERESTING TO ME IS

TO LOOKAT THE JUXTAPOSITION BETWEEN

WHAT IS MAKING THE FRONT PAGE OFWRESPECTED PAPERS AND WHAT THEOF

FOCUS IS OF THE 24HOUR NEWS NETWORKS THEY ARE

OUTRAGE AND CONFLICT ORIENTEDAND IT'S JUST NOISE.

>> WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE MATH ONHOW MUCH IT TAKES TO MAKE AN

ORIGINAL REPORT FROM SOMEWHERE.

YOU SEND A NEWS CREW OUTSOMEWHERE.

IT MIGHT COST $5,000.

YOU COME BACK AT THE NETWORKLEVEL WITH TWO MINUTES OF TV. OR

YOU COULD YOU HAVE A SATELLITEWINDOW AND HAVE TWO PEOPLE YELL

AT EACH OTHER FOR 15 MINUTES FOR$300.

WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER DO?

OR YOU COULD PRESS A BUTTON ANDTAKE A LIVE HELICOPTER CAMERA

FROM LOS ANGELES AND JUST FOLLOWA CAR CHASE.

I'M NOT SAYING THEY ARE THATMOTIVATED BY MONEY BUT TRUST ME

OVER TIME FACTS ARE EXPENSIVEAND PBS IS IN THE FACT BUSINESS.

>> I APPRECIATE IT.

THAT LITTLE DESCRIPTION THERE, IBELIEVE IS CNN'S NEW MISSION.

IT AIRS SUNDAY SATURDAY ANDSUNDAY AT 6:00 P.M. HARIAND

SREENIVASAN

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