Why Less News would be Good News

When I was young, the news came on the TV once or twice a day and radio stations carried an hourly bulletin. Today we have twenty four hour rolling news on TV and radio and newspapers have been supplemented by continuous updates on the internet. The BBC has an endless fascination with news across all channels and it shows no sign of abating. The World at One is being extended at the expense of unique and diverse programming to meet this apparently insatiable need for more news. But why?

News used to be news, the reporting of facts as known but now 24 hour news seems to consist of 1 hour news and 23 hours of repetition and speculation. Not content with reporting an event in the absence of information, which generally consists of pointing a camera at the scene of a disaster and replaying the footage constantly for hours on end, an endless array of experts are wheeled out to speculate on ‘what it might mean’ for us. The Norwegian tragedy marked a low point with Islamic terrorists being placed in the frame even as the bomb casualties were taken to hospital. Only 24 hours did the true facts start to emerge but there were no apologies for a lack of factual reporting just a new wave of experts to pontificate on the latest developments and ‘what it might mean’ for us. BBC news reporters were dispatched to Norway in the same way that the Empire used to dispatch the fleet to show pictures of people mourning and to ask them how they felt? How did the BBC think they they would feel?

We need the news but do we need to intrude in people’s grief in this way?  How does the endless replay of disaster without new facts make us more informed?  Might not a reduction of news coverage provide the opportunity to think about what is being shown and concentrate on the facts rather than an endless parade of talking heads?  Might less news be good news?

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About Peter Domican
Marketer and change professional. Writer and photographer.

One Response to Why Less News would be Good News

  1. Claire King says:

    Oh yes, less news would definitely be good news. I hardly ever turn on the television, but when I do, looking for the news, I find myself instantly in the middle of this speculative crap. Drives me nuts. I turn the thing off straight away and either check the internet or forget about it altogether.

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