25 July 2005

Making news

There has to be news in the morning papers. Otherwise, what’s the point?

When we pick up a copy of the newspaper in the morning, we expect to see news. We expect to read about – and see pictures of – something momentous that has happened around the world, between the time we got the last bit of news the night before and the next morning. We actually demand it from our newspapers. If there’s no news, there’s no point in reading the newspaper.

But, what if there was no news? What if nothing momentous happened around the world that required our attention first thing in the morning? Would the news reporters then not report news? Or, would they make some up to keep us happy… and keep their jobs in the process?

If nothing much happened around the world – no news to report for days or months together – would the newspapers, radios, TV channels have to fabricate news to please us? Would they give us unimportant bits of information because we demand it? Would they manipulate non-newsworthy facts to plan and plant stories in their publications – or stage shows on their channels – so we have something to read and watch?

After all, it would mean their survival. If there’s no one to read newspapers, there would be no advertising support for the newspapers. No revenues, no profits. Would the newspapers then resort to ‘making’ news? To ensure there is an audience – and, in turn, revenues and profits? Would the media then step in to create a parallel reality for us?

Whose interest is it anyway to ensure there is news in our lives everyday?

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