I’m a bit of a news junkie. I really am. I wake up in the morning and put on BBC news 24. I check the news websites all through the day at work and then I check them when I get home too usually alternating between sky and BBC while I cook and before relaxing with some other TV/book/conversation/descent into oblivion.
Know what I’ve noticed?
THE NEWS IS RUBBISH – it’s stupid, infantile guff. Instead of being an independent and informal means of educating the general public about stuff it’s degenerated into the horrible middle ground between some sort of savage reality TV show and an episode of the Noel Edmund’s Christmas special.
These last few weeks have been news heavy. We’ve had revolutions in the Middle East, culminating in regime change, civil war and the Saudi Army invading Bahrain to help out the government. We’ve also had a terrible Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan culminating in devastation, a huge loss of life and ongoing fears about a possible Nuclear Reactor going into “meltdown”.
Of all the times in our life to be using the TV, Radio and internet to keep abreast of events now is the time to do it.
The problem is that the news people know it. And they’re delighted. It’s like they can’t hide their slobbering grins as they voyeuristically reel out more and more footage of dead rebels in Libya or waves turning buildings into matchsticks in Japan.
A couple of days ago the BBC was running a montage set to gently epic classical music (think along the lines of adagio for strings or the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th or something) of tsunami damage ending with the sun rising over a boat washed up on the shore. THEY DID THIS EVERY 15 MINUTES. Sky News had the same idea but they did it with some percussion heavy stuff to really drive home the urgency of the situation.
As if that wasn’t enough we were subjected to a BBC commentator later on providing a RUNNING COMMENTARY on news footage as it came in… “Just look at that wave… look, as it SMASHES that boat into a bridge… and SMASHES its way up the street” by the time he was finished he had the guilty look of an adolescent waking from his first wet dream.
And that’s the problem with the news. It’s lazy. Now they don’t bother investigating stuff – they just get all their info from twitter or Facebook and re-report that for the benefit of people who think the internet is a massive scary microchip that steals your soul.
When there isn’t news they don’t bother making the effort to find some, they just try to make stuff that’s about as relevant as Nick Clegg into a burning issue. When there is news they beg for YOU to do all their work for them and send in pictures, reports, anything – until they get their act together to squeeze every last semblance of life out of it with a flood of reporters, cameramen and general idiots.
I was watching something the other day where they had a reporter ON THE GROUND in the town where Prince Williams stag do MIGHT be taking place…
So that’s what this blog is. It’s about my horrible relationship with the news. One where I cannot stop watching it. But I cannot stop ranting about it either. I want to know what’s going on in the world but I don’t want to have some presenter reading out banal emails from a keyboard punching idiot of a viewer expressing sentiments that are both obvious, stupid and largely irrelevant.
Journalists can be brilliant. They can uncover stories and deliver and drive great news. But these days it seems much more important to stick up a few pics of a snowman and ask “WERE YOU THERE? DO YOU HAVE PICTURES? CONTACT US AND TELL US YOUR STORY”
I welcome any pictures, ideas, comments, submissions – anything that helps me be as lazy as your typical journalist