Ted Koppel to Colbert: Current State of Journalism Is ‘Fragmented’

Television news veteran Ted Koppel appeared on the Late Show to plug his new book, but host Stephen Colbert used the opportunity to pick his guest’s brain about the current state of journalism. Per Koppel’s brief answer, there is a lot of journalism going on in the world today. Possibly too much.

“As someone who has been in journalism for a long time, what do you think of the state of today’s journalism? How’s it doing?” asked Colbert, adding: “Please give your answer in the form of a list of 17 cats that look like world leaders.”

“We are so fragmented now. We have so much journalism. Everyone is in competition for a tiny little fragment of the audience,” said Koppel. “Whereas 30 or 40 years ago, we used to be in competition to try and give people the news that they need, now we’re in competition to give people the news that they want.”

“People like you end up doing more series studies of serious subjects in a funny way,” the journalist added.

Colbert joked back, “Trying to get me fired, Ted?”

Koppel’s appearance on the program was a more streamlined version of what he meant by older journalism giving people “news that they need.” He was plugging his new book, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, and like most nonfiction books written by investigative journalists on particular subjects, it presents information on a topic most readers would likely know nothing about.

Check out the clip above, via CBS.

[Image via screengrab]

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