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As She Exits ABC News, Linda Douglass Reflects On 32 Years Of Change

This is congressional correspondent Linda Douglass‘ last week at ABC News. On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz asked her to reflect on three decades of change:

 douglassjan2.jpgKURTZ: You’ve been in the television business for 32 years. You’ll be consulting at NYU, among other places. Is network news in worse shape than when you joined, given all the pressures and the financial cutbacks?

DOUGLASS: In a worse shape? Well, it’s in different shape.

I mean, as you say, I’ve been a network correspondent or a reporter in local and network news for 32 years. It’s a much faster-paced business. It gives you less time to check your sources. The standards have grown and they’re very much higher.

I think that the appetite for the in-depth story is not as great as it was when I started 32 years ago. I think there is less investigative…

KURTZ: Too slow? Too boring?

DOUGLASS: Well, I think that the pace of everything, the attention span of the audience, has really changed. The sound bites have gotten so much shorter. We used to have 23-second sound bites. Now they’re 10 seconds.

I think there is less investigative reporting on network news because, again, of cost and time demands, so many platforms to service. I think all of those things have changed. And also less crusading for the poor and that sort of thing. I think that’s changed, too, with the times.

Here’s the transcript…

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