"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Friday, November 26, 2010

non-news

Yesterday, as I absent-mindedly listened to our local all-news-all-the-time radio station, a thught occurred to me. What if, when we ran out of things to say, we simply ... stopped talking?

This thought occurred to me because the two top stories of the hour were:
  1. The City is ready for winter. They have equipment and people and a plan to clear the streets when the snow comes.
  2. It's only a month until Christmas comes, so you really should kick your Christmas shopping into high gear if you haven't already.

If that's not a slow news day, I don't know what is. The first one is not news - it's glaringly obvious normal life. It would be news if ... let's see ... there was NO PLAN. Or if WINTER WASN'T COMING THIS YEAR. The second one is not news either. It's just pressure on behalf of the station's advertisers based on today's calendar date.

Imagine if the news anchors had delivered their top stories, looked at each other and said, "Well, clearly we're not needed today. The world is doing not too badly at this very moment, and there's not much to tell. So we're going to stop talking now. When there is some news that is actual news ... we'll be back."

Imagine if, when we ran out of things to say, we stopped talking. (Not blogging though. Blogging doesn't require actual content. Stop smirking at me! What???)

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Unfortunately, the news we get is not necessarily the news we need to hear. I'm sure something was happening somewhere, but we would be naive to think that the news really reflects what is going on in the world. I've been watching a lot of documentaries lately, so blame them for my cynicism.

Patti said...

Yup, I'm sure you're right. In fact, with the cholera in Haiti, and the North Korea / South Korea stuff that actually IS in the news, one wonders WHY snow plowing plans were the headline of the hour.

Not to mention all the other untold real news.

vjc said...

I personally might be tempted to contact the news station and thank them for not repeating, yet again, the horrible things happening elsewhere but that we've heard about over and over. I don't want to seem at all unsympathetic (although I will admit to a touch of cynicism too at the constant "predictions" of the experts) but wouldn't it be nice to be able to click off the news saying "Well, that wasn't too bad..." Our local paper just carried a front page story that featured a small white dog bounding through the new snow and it made me happy to see the paper for a change.

Patti said...

aaahh, you're right of course.