October 2007 Archives

Stephens, Chapters 8 and 9

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“Whether the subject is love, birth, weather or crime, journalists’ tastes inevitably run toward the unnatural, the extraordinary.” -- Stephens, Chapters 8 and 9

Current news is very similar to the news in 16th century England. Celebrity marriages and scandals, tragedies, strange events, etc. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. News can’t be about the ordinary or focus on all the positive events in life… because that isn’t news. I don’t understand when people complain that the news focuses too much on the unpleasant things happening in the world. What do they expect? Stories about rainbows and gumdrops? I guess they just want more human interest, fluffy bullshit.

Also, I can’t believe “stereotype” and “cliché” were originally printing terms.

Stephens: Chapter 6 and 7

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“News was worked into verse for one reason: to make it more entertaining - especially for the large majority of the population whose tastes had been shaped by exposure to oral rather than written forms of communication.”

Since people were used to oral news, print news was written in the form of poetry. Now people are used to receiving their news from talk shows, which may be why television journalists like to give their own commentary after reporting the news.

News is “catered to the most obvious and reliable human interests.” - Stephens: Chapter 6 and 7

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