News is an event or issue happening in your world that affects many people. At least that’s what I thought was news – and what I was taught was news back in the day. I suppose I became old school because I still believe news should be something many people can care about or something that many people should know about. Issues and happenings that are significant in many people’s lives.
Now, it seems news is what happens to someone’s cat – or dog – or happy baby or on a dash-cam. Since news organizations have cut staffs to the bone, there are fewer and fewer stories – especially locally that affect people’s lives. At least on TV news, much of the time is spent telling you about celebrity news, what will be on that TV station tonight (almost always entertainment) and what fantastic video has shown up on You Tube or via some other internet channel.
NBC News today has broadcast dash-cam video from a New Jersey transit bus versus school. whatever happened to the immediacy of news? Yes, the video was probably just released but the only reason the video is ‘news’ today is that NBC or any other news organization has found it. You know the saying “it’s like watching a train wreck?” Well, that is what this and all other video like it is all about. We are human, we can’t stop watching train wrecks. That’s why the Kardashians and Lindsey Lohan and any other bad boy/girl celebrity gets so much coverage.
News organizations used to be leaders. The hard-working staffs (still today) work like the dickens to write, produce, record news that the bosses tell them to put together. Many of the news stories are credible and interesting to a vast majority of people. But the tide turned about 20 years ago with the influx of infotainment programming. Now with instant news coverage and the pressure to get the pictures quickly, there is a lot of nonsense in news.
Len Berman used to do a TV sports segment that was hilarious; he showed all kinds of sports video of amazing shots, sports bloopers and such. He always had one crazy shot with people and things colliding and he would exclaim, “And nobody got hurt.” For a morning TV show, that was enough fun and games. It was a break from reality. Now it seems, the news reality is showing the insipid video from some child’s birthday party or something carved directly from You Tube.
KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia still does the news straight. No antics; perhaps a little too much jingle music AND they still have that crazy old-fashioned ticker. On that station, I get the news. Yes, there’s NPR and they do an honorable, creative and credible job, but for several reasons, I don’t listen often.
For now, the OFF button is where I go when the news is all about nothing that affects my life – or the lives around me. I’ll still watch, read and listen, but enough with the baby-cat-bus crash video.