Formerly SpringBlog

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top News

In class Tuesday, we discussed chapter 3 in Shirky's book. Somewhere along the line, we discussed how journalists decided what is news and--inevitably--touched on the Charlie Sheen mess. It got me wondering how much of the news I read on a daily basis is just fluff that has no pertinence to, well, anything.

I get my daily dose of news from Yahoo!, which usually gives between 28 and 52 articles a day. Since I have a short attention span when I'm online, I tend to only look at the first 12. I can't believe how many of the articles are completely pointless.

For example, when I logged on to Yahoo!, the first four articles included: a report on the crisis in Japan, MLB's Tim Lincecum's fast food order, Randy Moss professing his love for the Patriots, and Jodie Foster defending Mel Gibson. That is our top news of the day.

Digging a little deeper, we find more articles of relevance, but they are few and far between. Of the 40 articles featured at this moment, only 4 deal with Japan while I found 7 that dealt with celebrities, 8 about sports, and a more than a couple that revealed "secrets" of how to look 10 pounds lighter or keep your diet.

I'm not making any of this up, no matter how outrageous it seems we would want to know exactly what Tim Lincecum is ordering when he goes out to eat. Is this really what our culture has decided as news? Do we really want to watch someone like Charlie Sheen completely ruin his life right before our eyes?

I admit, I have fallen into that pit. Only yesterday I read an article that showed exactly who the most eligible princes around the world were (in honor of Will & Kate's wedding). I think Americans like stories that aren't as tramatic as the crisis in Japan. I don't like news that is going to depress me, so I steer more toward these fluffy stories of celebrities and entertainment. This is what we want to read about and what journalists are going to give us.


  1. Something I wonder about is whether or not our economic situation is considered when picking out news pieces. Since we are in a recession we are already depressed as a society, so some mundane article about a guy who had way more than us and is losing it all...well, that makes us feel better. Most of us just have the capacity to take care of our own bs let alone worry about foreign tragedies.

    However, I am a little saddened by the content that is most readily available. I'd like to have better information more readily available.

  2. I have begun to notice this as well. I often read stories that don't relate to the world around me or my life for matters and get caught up in other things. I recognized this yesterday as well when I was working out in the Rec Center. Out of the 5 TVs that were on display in front of the elliptical machines, one was displaying the NCAA tournament. There was a banner running on the bottom that said TNT would continue the broadcast because of a Special Report CBS had to run. The special report was President Obama giving a speech on the current crisis in Libya. I immediately put my headphones into the plug and listened to his speech on what we were going to get involved in. Only one other girl even noticed that Obama was on the screen and she was lifting weights so she had no idea what he was saying. No one else even looked up from their TV programs such as Dr. Oz or whatever was on the MTV network. We have become so wrapped up with today's society and the story's of other peoples' sad lives.