A Serious Topic Just for Wasted Space

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"'It was better when buses plunged in countries with short names,' he says. 'A bus plunge in Peru was infinitely easier to deal with than a bus plunge in Argentina or Paraguay.'

Of course, it's callous to make light of anybody's tragic death. But by the gallows-humor standards of journalism, competing to publish bus-plunge shorts was fairly benign" (Shafer)

Although at first this article sounded somewhat amusing, once you open some of the links to the articles were the actual bus plunge stories are, it doesn't seem quite so funny. As the website mentions, it does admit that these reports have to have a certain level of a sick sense of humor, but it still seems a little disrespectful to the people who died in the accident to admit that newspapers get excited over these stories because it helps them fill up empyt space.

On another note, it is pretty interesting that a type of news story because of its shortened, yet interest-grabbing healine turned into a kind of category all on its own. At first I would have thought stories like these to be rare and I always found it kind of weird when I did see a little article in a paper about a bus plunge in some little country that I never heard of. However, now I know what the actual use of these stories are: not necessarily to get the news out to the audience, but more so to take up small, unused space. It's kind of pitiful when you think about it.



Andrew Wichrowski said:

Katie brings up an interesting point, that the bus plunge stories all occur in small and/or developing countries. Remember that Dr. Jerz said in class that "Bus Plunge" stories became popular among newspaper editors because there was always a bus plunging somewhere in the world. Stories like these have been, and will be, commonplace as long as there are impoverished nations with a lack of reliable infrastructure.

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