Tuesday, September 22, 2009

“News” Value

© 2009 Stan Spire

I put the word “news” in quotes for a reason.

Alarmists say that without the “news” – particularly “news”papers – our democracy will suffer.

Bullshit. Putting aside the fact that we don’t live in a democracy, the “news” has been exposing crime and corruption and lies and all sorts of sins forever – and in the end all that changes is that a new cast of perpetrators arrive on the scene while some of the old ones just skate free.

“News” is a relative term. What is “news” to you – information of value – might be meaningless to me. For example, take the sports section – please.

The only time a person cares about “news” is when it provides information on something that might intrude – or does intrude – his comfort zone. His taxes going up? That hits home. Some banana republic going through a violent revolution? So what? As long as it doesn’t affect the price of bananas at the supermarket – big yawn.

Most people can’t be bothered with “news.” Celebrity gossip and sports info – that beats out the “news” most of the time. “News” makes people uncomfortable. So why will someone now pay for it online when it just gets him upset and invades his comfort zone? That’s negative value.

Too many people like to be ignorant. They want simple answers, not complex stories. Look at how the yahoos have been going on about “death panels” and other nonsense during the health care “discussion.” They don’t want nuance in reporting. They don’t want even to see the word “nuance.” That means they have to use a dictionary to figure out what that word means and that hurts their pointy little heads.

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