News Junkie’s: Change the channel

Friday, March 5, 2010

Today’s I have decided to discuss the news in general that we are all bombarded with on a daily basis. Who exactly determines what is news worthy and the length of coverage it should be awarded? Why is it we do not care enough to demand higher standards on what it is we are spoon fed? Exactly why is their cup always half empty? As a culture do we truly enjoy someone else’s pain that much?

Let’s look at these questions in reverse.Do we as a culture truly enjoy someone else’s pain that much? I’m afraid this may be the case. We as a culture expose our youngest members to some pretty graphic images and over a period of time those images start to lack effect, they become common place, the norm.

Should a report of a tragic event merely contain the verbal content and not the graphic images more times than not it will go un-noticed. However, take that same story line and add the graphic, not always needed, visual and the story becomes headlines. Young members of society become acclimated to the negative and it becomes acceptable to them.

So, exactly why is it our cup always half empty? My first guess would be because we can not see that it is an optical illusion. Regardless of how you look at the cup it does contain something. It is merely seeking out the positive rather that exorbitantly seeking the negative.

It is a habit we have gotten into to always seek the negative, a habit to say our cup is half empty, after all that is what is reported, it must be so. Break the habit we must, we have seen, heard, and felt the negative, give us some positive for a change.

This is where we as consumers of the news should hold them to a higher standard. We should insist that these news agencies report content and not the scoop. We should insist that we are given all sides of the story, with all the facts, so we can base our own opinion and not that of the reporting agency. We should insist that we be given some positive to swallow the negative with and above all we should insist on good quality content.

Now I’m not living under a rock or so far in the sticks that I do not realize the world is a dangerous place that is constantly changing. But I do realize that way to often our news agencies have been irresponsible in sensationalizing  events that either caused more damage, gave a more dangerous person the idea or just should have not even been reported on to begin with. Two cases in point, balloon boy and Jon Gosselin; neither should have hit the air waves.

Balloon boy was reported on and began airing even before the facts were known and then when they were known, well it reiterates my point. The father just wanted to be famous and due to sensationalized news reporting he was. Jon Gosselin was just, well what can I say, a very bad choice in topics.

This brings us to the question of who exactly determines what news is worthy and its length of coverage. I hate to say it folks but we do and if you think turning your set off does not matter, then think again. The mere action of turning the TV off or changing the channel sends the message it is not worth my time, you do not have the facts yet, and even I want better content.

When you see the same news story at 7am, noon, 2pm and followed up at 6pm this is not content it is a time filler. Do you really think that between 7 in the morning and 6 that evening that no other news transpired? We are allowing them to broadcast news re-runs. Is it possible for current news stories really be re-run and be news? Now I’m not talking about; ”this was our story earlier and here is what we have learned since.” I’m talking about; “here was our story earlier and lets see it again.” Not news.

This brings to point the amount of coverage a story gets. I truly believe if we held them accountable for content the amount of coverage would follow. If a story generates interest and facts keep revealing themselves then the story would continue. If a story had no interest or bore no new facts it would simply slip away into the news file for reference.

As for me I am taking a stand. I will turn off my TV, I will change the channel and I will comment on their web pages. I want quality coverage and I want my cup half full. I want the facts, all the facts, and I do care about your take on the story. I want the future generations to be able to feel; be it good or be it bad, you can not have one without the other.

Going UP