Journalism Isn’t Terrible, We Are: Selective, Celebrity Tragedy

journalismcat

There are a lot of tragic stories that are becoming spectacles because of relentless media coverage.

News organizations are using the instant speed and the easy globalization of the internet to hone in on the most emotional story available around the globe, marginalizing the actual storyline in favor of whatever will get the most clicks and the most readers.

We yell at journalists for being bad at journalism, but never stop to think why they keep writing the stuff. It’s because we keep reading.

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4 Responses to Journalism Isn’t Terrible, We Are: Selective, Celebrity Tragedy

  1. There’s a quote from Thoreau that I feel is fitting: “To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea. Yet not a few are greedy after this gossip.”

    • blaiselucey1 says:

      That’s a good one — I’m just always stunned when I turn on NPR and they are spending 20 minutes covering a story that in no way can affect or teach us anything. It’s a lot of energy for very little return.

      I think journalism content is getting shallower in general to adapt to the fact that more people are getting news on the internet and they just don’t have the time for context, nuance, depth, or follow-up.

      • You’re totally right though when you say that the supply is merely feeding into the demand. It’s our own damned faults. Which is why I’ve isolated myself from the news totally. Really, there’s nothing that the news can possibly cover that we’ve not heard before – once you’ve familiarised yourself with the principle, what is the purpose of a myriad of applications? – with the exception, of course, for scientific break throughs. But if you want good articles on that, visit a scientific journal instead, for a more in depth analysis.

        Journalism seems to be playing the same role as Youtube comments. Quick. Easy to swallow. Emotionally charged. Black or white. I’m going to miss Chomsky when his time comes. That brilliant, verbose bastard.

      • blaiselucey1 says:

        Ah, Chomsky. Those were the good old days, when intellectuals could write for five, ten pages straight and people still kept reading, haha.

        The one good thing about internet information consumption is that you CAN find the context that journalists neglect… you just have to do the digging yourself.

        I kind of wonder if we’re going to need a more multimedia approach to keep people’s attention. I’ve been screwing around with that format with these videos, which you may find a little interesting if you have a few minutes 🙂

        Celebrity Worship – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwd32DzuobI

        Automation – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKXi1e-WfCw

        Iran – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STyrYb1Izeg

        Really rough, but you get the idea — pull in the written word, mood music, and video clips, then mash them together to ensure people get the information.

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