Who decides the news?
By Bill Weedmark
For the past week, the major Internet news sites of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News have been dominated by stories of near-starvation, disruption of business, car accidents and insurance rates – all involving deer.
So it makes me wonder, since when did a deer running through a Target become headline news on a national level? Aside from the fact that it’s bizarre, I can’t understand how these stories about deer, or the stories about Britney and Kevin’s marital problems, are getting more coverage and press time than the results for the midterm elections.
It seems to me that the news these days has less and less actual news content than usual. What’s the point of calling it a news Web site if CNN is going to bury the important stories in favor of a detailed account of Britney Spears’ pre-nuptial agreement?
As someone who follows the news almost religiously (I check the Web pages for the major sites every hour, typically) I’ve seen this trend getting worse and worse each week.
One week after Steve Irwin’s tragic death, which surely did affect the entire world on some level, two major global events hardly received any coverage at all. And when the stories were eventually written, they were hidden in sub-pages of the Web, behind more headlines of remembrance.
Those stories were the announcement that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had decided to step down in 2007, and the announcement of Mexico’s new president-elect.
Both stories will have vast global implications, but neither was featured as a headline story until a week or two after the fact. And even then, Lindsey Lohan got more coverage.
You always hear the question, is the news “dumbing down” to make profits, or are they giving the people what they want? It’s up for debate.
But either way it goes, is a deer with its head stuck in a plastic pumpkin really more important for the future of our nation than the results for Virginia’s next senator? According to the news sites, I’d have to assume ‘yes.’