News… or “news?”

So, in an effort to exemplify what we keep talking about in class in terms of what news in, I would first off like to present these two articles. Both have come out in the last 48 hours. Both are considered “news.”

http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/01/21/small-dog-saves-puppy-from-coyote/

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/21/us/politics/obama-inauguration-day.html

 

So. I find that even viewing the titles of the article alone lends one to more more “news,” than the other. Inauguration versus dogs and puppies? Realistically, the answer is obvious. Yet, both have been posted. That said, why are both considered “news?” By today, the story about the dog had made the television news stations. What about it made it news?

Public interest. News, chosen by what people both need and want to know, is arguably almost more driven by what people want to know. People seem to be driven solely by what is comfortable. Those who say, “well I don’t read the paper because there’s too much sad in it,” or, during the election for example, “I’m sick of hearing about politics,” are the reason stories about dogs, puppies, geckos, and zombies, make it into the news. Sadly, most times, main news is not their proper place. If one examines newspapers from the past, they will find far less filler “junk” within their pages. It is a sad reality, but seems to hold. The idea of “news” has changed not based on what people need to know, but what they are willing to read.

No wonder people are so uneducated. Did you know that only 2% of people can discuss the  5th amendment intelligently. Look into the book “What Americans Know About Politics,” by Carpini and Keeter if you’re interested in this.

Oh, and one more blurb… most newspapers and news stations have been covering this as well:

ImageReally, people? Really? Lip-syncing isn’t news… though as a culture, we’re obsessed with looking for the answer. Why aren’t we obsessed day in and out with looking for an answer to the debt crisis? Syria? Iran? Poverty in America AND other countries? Infant death rates? As I said… interest is news, news is interest. The above issues are uncomfortable, so while they make their way into the news, they are surrounded by stories that have, truthfully, little to no merit. That is why the question of what is and isn’t news is so prevalent  and the lines are so blurred. It’s hard to interpret what people will be willing to read.

Makes me glad I’m not making the decisions!

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