The News

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The News

Post  Mr. Pearse on Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:07 am

It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the [world] together.

I'm talking, of course, about today's obsession with up-to-date, up-to-minute news reporting. I'm talking about a monolithic "old media" establishment that produces twenty-four hours of exhaustive/exhausting investigation and commentary, and a "new media" juggernaut of blog posts, twitter updates, and RSS feeds that ensures that - if you have an internet connection - you will never be in the dark.

What kinds of areas (celebrity gossip, sports, politics) do you keep up with, and how frequently? What specific fora (CNN Evening News, are your go-to sources for what's happening today, and what might happen tomorrow?

And are these developments a positive thing? Is it good that you can spend hours each day (as I do) reading news which, when you get right down to it, usually doesn't turn into anything that significant?

Share your thoughts! This is a question I've thought a lot about, and it'll be interesting to see other peoples' feedback. I'll post my own analysis soon.
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Re: The News

Post  Jessamine Blake on Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:10 pm

I get New York Times headlines in my inbox every day. I generally steer clear of Twitter whenever possible, and hear most of the "big news" outside of that one source only if it's been around long enough to have one of my professors bringing it up in class. I had no idea that Tiger Woods had fallen from grace until we discussed it two weeks ago in my Comm Theories class. I do peruse the blogosphere, but most of what I read there falls under personal interest/current issues, not so much current events.

I think the fact that information is available is great. Unfortunately, crap theory still applies. Crap theory, in case you're unfamiliar (or you know it by its official name, which I've forgotten), states that 95% of any given sphere of production's products are crap. 95% of music, cars, novels, poetry, sculpture, whatever. This does not change when the means of production become democratized to the general public; the sphere of production grows, but the proportions stay roughly the same.

The trick is, how do you sort through everything to find that 5% of information that is credible and accurate, significant, relevant, and all those other laudible qualities? Chances are, a lot of people won't bother. I know of at least one person in the world that uses Twitter to keep up with what Nicole Ricci eats for breakfast--as an aid in her own quest for skinniness. I myself use it to find out things like the fate of Neil Gaiman's cats, or whether or not George Clooney is gay (see my related post for more on that topic).

I'm tempted to say that the wide, 24/7 availability of news and information is a neutral phenomenon that can be damaging or edifying, depending on who's tapping into it. But I think that's probably off the mark, since the kind of knowledge we're talking about isn't so neutral. It's possible that a number of factors go into determining whether or not this is a good thing. But far be it from me to have any clue what all of those factors might be.

Last edited by Jessamine Blake on Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:14 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : italics, sentence structure, repetitiveness, punctuation)
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