Friday, March 5, 2010

Reality that's begging for a show

Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City"
Here's a suggestion for Bravo: Produce a TV reality show on journalism.

Chronicle the ups and downs of reporting the news, as you have followed the everyday -- but certainly not ordinary -- lives of housewives (top), chefs (middle) and obsessive-compulsive real estate developers (bottom).

Bravo's "Top Chef"
Just think of the possibil- ities: reporter-editor disagree- ments coming to blows; columnists calling out one another; writers unmasked as plagiarists. Oh, the drama!

Bravo's "Flipping Out"
You could film reporters-in-training as their journalism schools send them off on un- paid intern- ships -- particularly those that take up the slack after news organizations cut their payroll -- or as they dive into social media and go about developing their own brand. (Although that plot line might be too close to one in your "Real Housewives" series.)

You could get in on the debate over whether newspapers are dead or dying and/or necessary for democracy's survival. (On second thought, that might be too academic, unless you could find a way to bring back Ben Franklin.)

Or, if you move quickly, you might catch a real tear-jerker in progress: whether Honolulu joins Seattle, Denver and other U.S. metros in becoming a one-newspaper town. There, the owner of one paper wants to sell and the owner of the other wants to buy -- but can't before selling what it already owns. Some say that's a lark destined to fail. So if you get on a plane now, you might be on hand for the death rattle.

Hollywood has crafted some pretty good movies around newspapers, but TV hasn't done much lately. So it's not only time for a starring role, but timely, too.

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