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Don't skip over the boring stuff

IANS CH 7 & 8

...dramatic coverage designed to heighten fear is simply better remembered than more analytic coverage that might lower it. After all, drama is, well, more dramatic than cold-blooded analysis. (IANS 130)

This thought is more than a little unnerving. It suggests that most people remember the hyped up stories of things that are relatively unimportant over the stories that really do hold some substantive value. It suggests that readers care about the unimportant. Well, this certainly explains celebrity news. But let's look past Brittney Spears apparent lack of a motherly instinct, past Keith Urban's and Nicole Kidman's move from their multi-million dollar home to an even bigger multi-million dollar home, past Angelina Jolie's supposed conflict with Brad Pitt's friends (If you can't tell, I spent entirely too much time at the doctor's office last week.) All this information simply takes up valuable space in my brain. Maybe, that's why, according to IANS, we have trouble remembering the important stuff. The news, especially tv news, fills our heads with worthless information about celebrities, about the emotions of traumatized individuals, about the water-skiing squirrel, that there is simply no more room left for news about the latest product recall, an update from Iraq, or an upcoming presidential candidate's future plans for social security. Too often the important stories are placed behind the exciting stories. A story about frog deformities may run on the front page of the newspaper while a story about the latest developments in Iraq runs sandwiched in the middle. A story about an old man feeling sad over the loss of his home airs first on the news while a story about a massive recall receives less than 10 seconds air time more than 25 minutes into the broadcast.

Comments (1)

Corey Struss:

Ellen, I feel your pain. What is wrong with people's priorities today? It really does seem that all we care about is entertainment. And the news is the place for entertainment today. Water-skiing squirrels, a whole 5 minute story on what costumes are popular this Halloween, etc. Do we even care about news anymore? It really doesn't seems so...

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