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News this year...


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#1 Ion Cannon!

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 22:49

Not sure how this has effected other countries but this year there has been so many non-stories about injunctions, FB, Twitter X-factor and BGT that it makes me feel physically ill. Since when was this kind of crap news? It used to stay in the shitty womens magazines or tabloids where it belongs, but this year has spread like a malignant tumour among more respectable news outlets. BBC website, I'm looking at you.

Several times I have gone onto the BBC website only to see the matter of what some idiotic footballers have done as more important than say .. The bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan, which killed a dozen people. Surely that's not right..

Edited by Ion Cannon!, 08 June 2011 - 22:49.

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#2 TheDR

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 23:20

Surely news shouldn't just focus on the bad things?

I feel news needs to include stories which are about entertainment and articles which aren't just doom and gloom. This "horrible news" surely can't be good for our mental state, rapid evolution of technology has forced all the world to open it's eyes to good and bad news, can our brains really cope with death and destruction around the globe piped into our TV sets? Isn't it simply unnatural to witness these constant events on TV? It might even be causing depression and paranoia.

The problem is where do you draw the line at "crap news"? FB, Twitter X-factor and BGT are big parts of millions of peoples lives and I'm sure they wouldn't call it crap news, where as the bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan, it maybe horrible and something we as a population have a right to know about (although news is more about selling a story than giving out information, but thats another topic), but is it relevant to the majority of the population of England's lives? Does it have any more right to be news, why should it be shot to the top of the list just because it is bad? All these questions that can't really be answered, but the BBC and other news outlets obviously have pegged their line of crap news in a different place to yours.
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#3 Ion Cannon!

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 23:48

I would hardly call the Twitter/FB/BGT/X-factor news good, It's non-news.. I mean anyone that cared who was going to win BGT, well they would watch it.. Furthermore the CTB/Injunction thing, celebrity gossip isn't news, though from the freedom of the press POV, I guess it was. Still I don't think thats anymore relevant or important than the bombing of stuff in Afghanistan. I actually complained a fair bit when every british soldiers death was headline news for several months, It's a war for gods sake and they're soldiers.. And if the BBC starts doing that again I will probably complain some more.

Furthermore I have no problems with good news. I wish the BBC and other broadcasters would show the good things British troops have acomplished in Afghanistan more often, IIRC they've done that about twice.. News is generally negative but with the 24/7 news era non stories are made into stories, simply to fill the gap.
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#4 TheDR

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 00:20

Then how should we define what is relevant news? It seems like you are annoyed at repetition, the focus on celebrities and the entertainment culture in general. My personal opinion on celebrities is that they are trash monsters, spewing out rubbish that the general population eats up. However in our current culture it could be argued that these "celebrities" are held in higher regard compared to scientists, political figures (who themselves are trying to turn into celebrities) and actual talented people. This means that these celebrities are actually more important to our population than the majority of other topics.

I think the problem here is you are trying to deconstruct the methods that these news teams use to "create the news", when it is more likely that these news teams are sometimes struggling to find compelling articles and just settle for this non-news to fill the gap. Also, news sites have to create stories which are popular and it tends to be non-news that gets more views.

I really want to say I agree with you and that this non-news shouldn't be part of the "main news". But then what happens if someone feels that this "war news" about another country isn't really news. Once you start to filter out one bit of news, what stops you from filtering other bits? You start to cover the eyes of the population which then manipulates people in unexpected ways.
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#5 Golan

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 08:43

News are goods to be sold, the news offered are just a reflection of what people are interested in. Your problem are people, not news.
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#6 Libains

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 17:07

Whilst I agree that some news this day is total rubbish (I mean honestly, the Daily Mail will report anything these days (today it's all about how Katie Price has got a new personalised numberplate for her pink Land Rover)), the fact of the matter is that you're drawing to the forefront stuff that I would consider as 'good news'. I find the privacy arguments that FB/Twitter have become embroiled in utterly fascinating from my perspective. The legal ramifications behind it are convoluted but still quite understandable, and watching the English legal system evolve to try to cope with super-injuctions vs mass social media is one of the most difficult tests for it in recent years. I couldn't give two shits about who's shagging who, but I do care about how it's being handled, and that's what the news is pointing out. The media is putting it out as a big scandal and focusing on the celebrity bullshit side of things, but read a little deeper and find other opinions on the matter and it's pretty fascinating (Private Eye is a notable source of this).

BGT/X-Factor isn't classed as news, it's just a glorified TV review. All I can say is that at least this sort of news doesn't get plastered as headlines over most sites, and at the end of the day, people do want to know. But that is a reflection on the British public, as Golan says. News outlets have to keep their head above the water, and to do that you need to report on things that people want to hear. And tbh most people will pop onto the BBC to check everything - this includes who's done what in the entertainment sector, along with the in-depth analyses you will still find on that website. My honest opinion is that you're viewing this rather selectively, because there's still shedloads of great news reporting on the BBC - it's just the crap that jumps up the 'most read' list because the majority of the British public would rather know who won BGT than the name of the latest lance corporal that got shot in some foreign war.

You also need to remember that the subject of war these days is not something that people really like reading about. The news has to sway with people's opinions to a degree, and the war is no longer something that people want to see or hear about. Ignorance is bliss, and whilst we are not ignorant of the war, permitting it to slide to the back of our minds is a good war of separating ourselves from the pain and hardships suffered by all out there. It's a natural human condition, and the BBC & others are aware of this, thus why they are sensitive of the information. Hell, even a heroic action is questionable news these days, as a British soldier who has held off a dozen insurgents, thrown a dozen grenades their way, and then proceeded to shoot them all, has still killed a dozen people. Not in an outrageous way, but in a time when public opinion is turning against the war, a dozen lives is a dozen too many. The media would rather report on scandals that will outrage the public (and make for good news) and the bollocks entertainment trash that people are all curious about (another natural human condition, and thus again, good news).

It's not a perfect system, but that's the way it is. There are still many serious journalists out there, and it's not hard to find the good stuff if you look. But the British public don't care for serious journalism much. We'd rather find out which dog is able to sing God Save the Queen whilst jumping up and down in the air. Because it's more fun. Because it doesn't remind us of all the crap going on out there. And because it appeals to everyone. And because every news website in the world needs to make money (and this includes the BBC, as its international version runs on advertising revenue).
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