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When News Transforms from Reality to the Strange; EL200 Stephens Ch. 7&8

Several things stuck out to me as I read the following chapters, "If you bore me, you die" (excellent) Why isn't the news still this way? If it were like that now, most journalists would be hung upside down while a vat of boiling acid laid below them. Sensationalism, the practice of making stories that are so non-believable seem apparently true, who is going to investigate most of the obscure filth the tabloids publish? A two headed baby robs a bank with nunchacks. (Go ahead investigate that, prove it not true, you would just be waisting your time). "Over the centuries many lournalists and a few blue-nosed censors have struggled to excercise bloody and obscene stories like ones from the news" Journalists have gone out of their way to exaggerate the mess of certain situations. p.(111) Talks about Elvis sightings in the 80s, although he had passed away in 1977, supposedly. There were more Elvis sightings during that decade than when he was still alive. That was sensationalism at its best. He is still occassionally spotted in the twenty first century, but not as much.
In chapter 8, the section entitled "The Unexpected" was interesting. The quote "journalists are often attacked for seeing life dramatically, episodically" instead of seeing it "steadily and whole". Journalists sometimes use emotional appeal to get their readers interested, instead of using the truth, the whole facts. "Journalists see external reality as a set of disperate and independent events", journalists see the world as a story ready to happen, wherever and whenever. Internal reality is boring and to stable. At times, attempting to be serious to the reader is harder than planting a joke on them in print.

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Comments

I really enjoyed reading your blog and I think you made some good points too. I agree with you that the news would be a lot more interesting if journalists lives depended on keeping their readers interested, but then most of it probable wouldn't be true. Then again, who hasn't heard of the occasional two-headed baby who robbed a bank with nunchacks?

I enjoyed your blog and agree that if today's reporters had to stake their lives on their stories' entertainment value, there wouldn't be that many credible stories.

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