Newswatch Thomas Griffith: Quality in the Off-Hours


Television has this strange habit of doing its best in the off-hours. To culture critics denouncing TV's wasteland, the explanation is simple: whatever is aimed at mass audiences is inevitably broader, shallower and shoddier.

This may be true of car-chase dramas and comedies with laugh tracks, but network news coverage isn't shoddy. CBS, ABC and NBC each spend about a million dollars a week on their nightly news. Big budgets made possible the satellite reporting from West Beirut; large American audiences agonizing over what they saw (including one viewer in the White House)...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!