Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Is The News Really News?

The news media is driving me crazy, especially the stuff that is dished up on TV. This juggernaut known as news tramples on common sense under the guise of reporting, but most of the time that's not what they're doing--they are rehashing and speculating endlessly about the candidates, the primaries, the war, and other events happening in the world.

First, there is a nugget of news, then it is repeated, sometimes inaccurately, sometimes with parts missing or distorted, then this distortion is repeated again and again, and discussed and picked over like a turkey the week after Thanksgiving. Why doesn't somebody just report the news?

I don't want to be told what to think about the news, I want to hear it and decide for myself. I want to know what is going on in the world and not just hear over and over what TV newscasters have decided is their favorite story. Unfortunately, I often find the most interesting news on page eight or ten of the local newspaper, and it takes several days for it to get picked up and find its way into the forefront of the news presented on TV, if ever.

Sometimes a report of what someone said shows that person talking, but we can't hear what they're saying, because the reporter is telling us instead. All we can do is watch his or her lips moving while the reporter drones on and on. Talk about frustrating! I don't want to be told what someone said, I want to hear it myself.

Those in the media take stories that might have been of interest when first reported, and then they beat them to death for days and days, get talking heads together to speculate ad infinitum about the ins and outs of a subject that has already palled.

I think part of the problem is that newscasting is mostly aimed at an immature, uninformed audience, rather than at an adult, involved audience, thus ensuring that no one will ever get informed, at least not by TV news. Also, apparently it is easy to pick up and use what has already been said without having to give too much thought to its accuracy, or to how many times it has already been repeated. We get little snippets and tidbits instead of real news. Often, interesting items are caught in the rush just before going to a break.

Well, have all the breaks you want, but in between breaks, please, please give us news, and don't paraphrase it, tell us what you think about it, or what we should think about it. Just give us the news and plenty of it, and let us decide for ourselves. Please.

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