The speed of today’s news cycle is astounding. Think about how much information you process on a daily basis. Now think about how much information was even available in, say, the 1960s.
I personally think this rapid increase in information availability is the reason in the decline of responsible reporting. Seriously, do you think Walter Cronkite would give two shits about baby Hailey Anthony, or some kid who killed himself because he was bullied? Not to say those situations aren’t horrible. They are, but they are merely one instance of similar cases that happen all over the country. What makes those special? Why do they get headlines and hours of coverage? The need to generate headlines.
The need to generate viewership in the age of the internet, more often than not, leads to headlines like this.
“81 Dead in Mexico as Flu Emergency goes Global”
How global you ask? 20 folks in America, 81 in Mexico. And?
Russia? England? France? Nyet, Fraid not old chap, and Le Nope.
New Zealand? 22 Folks…. Who just visited Mexico.
For three weeks.
Quite the global pandemic if you ask me. In fact, I’m buying air purifiers and surgical masks as we speak. (Online shopping, of course.)
I miss the days of dead-pan, responsible reporting. Is this flu problem an issue? Certainly. But is it a “global pandemic the likes of which may bring about the apocalyspe!!!!?!?!??!”
But maybe I’m just jaded. I’m going to go take a nap in my hermetically sealed bedroom with my sanitized picture of Edward R. Murrow and dream about the glory days.