Week Three

News and Opinion in Vintage TV Appreciation

Is it news or is it opinion? Is an article based on nuanced fact or on personal analysis? It is an understatement that it was challenging to find articles about vintage TV’s influence that are much more than an informational history or a “top ten list.” Here, I share some of my favorite news and opinion articles that I read that center around the impact and appreciation of vintage television.

1. “We Need a TCM For Television.” – by Noel Murray, The AV Club – OPINION

It is very clear when reading this article that the author, Noel Murray and I are kindred spirits. In this item, Murray, distraught at how cable networks neglect vintage TV series, suggests the creation of a channel that reveres classic television the way that the channel Turner Classic Movies reveres older films. This article is an obvious opinion piece, especially when he goes on to describe how he would control the channel and the kinds of programs he thinks should air on it. He also expresses his personal feelings that although it is wonderful that TV in it’s current state is finally getting some respect, he believes that vintage TV should be respected just as much.

  1. “New Non-Profit Caters to Classic TV” – by Stefan Blitz, Forces of Geek – NEWS

This article features pop culture author Herbie J. Pilato’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Classic TV Preservation Society. This charitable organization’s mission is to educate and enlighten others on the social influence and positive impact of classic TV, on the world and on people as individuals. The article quotes Pilato as he states his values and describes his educational “Classic TV and Self-Esteem” seminars. Because of the article’s informative writing style, structured word choice, and series of quotes by Pilato to support the text, this is clearly a news item.

  1. “Why Are These Classic Shows Nowhere To Be Found On Streaming?” – by Josef Adalian, Vulture – OPINION

This analytical piece describes how the economics of today’s streaming media influences which vintage TV shows are featured on streaming channels, and which ones are left out. It describes that it is all in what will attract the most subscriptions, which usually means what attracts a younger demographic, as well as music licensing rights (not vintage TV, sadly). Though there is factual evidence in this piece that support the author’s reasonings, the author has a more relaxed, “personal” style of writing, and there are subjective statements sprinkled all over the place. For example, he describes the lack of vintage programs on streaming channels as a “frustrating problem” for retro TV lovers. Another standout example is when he describes this frustration as a “first-world problem,” especially when there are so many great shows to watch already. These statements prove that this is most certainly an opinion article.

  1. “50 Years of Sunny Days on ‘Sesame Street’: Behind the Scenes of TV’s Most Influential Show Ever” – by Marisa Guthrie, The Hollywood Reporter – NEWS

This is a fantastic recent news item that highlights one particular program, Sesame Street, which, because it is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, falls into the “vintage TV” category. This story reports on the series’ longevity and informs readers on the incredible cultural impact the series has made across the world, and how it completely changed the way that all children’s television is made. This is not a piece that is just filled with educated insight, but also with actual written history, proven facts, and quotes from the creators and actors themselves: all fantastic things that can aid in creating a great news article.