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Tragedies Voice

Tragedies Voice:

(A 2013 reprint from my old blog site. Imagine the list of tragedies added to this report.)

News affects each of us differently.

As I scroll through the revolving 9 slides of potential stories to click on at www.msn.com:

  • The first set of 3 slides deal with the flooding in Colorado, the Costa Concordia, and living longer.
  • Then the shooter at the Navy Yard.
  • How about older adults keeping their abs in shape?
  • Or the rookie sensation for the Bengals.
  • Let’s read about 10 “outrageously” expensive hobbies from Sports Illustrated
  • Or a Flash Mob Proposal at Home Depot
  • How about the “Best Emmy Speeches”
  • New Fall Faces for Television
  • Finally – Dancing with the star sensations.

And this comes from their “NEWS” focus selection!

Number 2, and only one “front page” story about – the shooting’s at the Navy Yard in Washington DC.

Tragedies take on different voices – depending on who it’s about, and what does the news vendor perceive we want to hear about. It’s all about money. Not the news. How do I get you to listen to me and the commercials that bring you the news? By giving the audience what they want to hear.

I perceive that we have already moved past the shootings. Sure. We will hear a few more details of the victims, the shooter, and his problems, and the tightening of security at more places around the world.

I am not being insensitive when I say we spent more news minutes on the Boston Bombings, Sandy Hook, Columbine… (the list is almost endless), than what we have spent on yesterday’s news in the Navy Yard.

What is the driving force on what the news outlet’s present?

According to some statistics, in the US (5% of the world population) the Internet is used by about 78% of our population. The remainder of the 6.6 billion world population uses the Internet only for about 32% of its population. This seems like 3% of the world’s population is not really caring about “real news” according to what I saw on MSN this morning.

Now, you may say I need to go to a “real” news reporting organization, and I would agree. Tell me which one…

  • CNN is trending news on the Naval Yard shooting, Police Shootings, Syria, Fatal Swim to N. Korea, Child Marriage, Colorado floods, Costa Concordia.
  • USA Today keeps sending me tidbits of headlines so that I will go to their website, I think this helps their traffic numbers stay high.
  • NPR News leads off with the Navy Yard Shooting, but about 5 stories down we read about the “ear wax” of whales showing us records of ocean contaminants.
  • Fox News keeps the Navy Yard Shooting front page with surrounding news links for all the typical daily items.

Okay. Who do I listen to?

Please understand me, I think we cover news in a horrific manner. News stations swarm sites of tragedies so they can keep the audience glued to their reporting outlet. There is something about “bad” news that we want to hear. Personally, I want to hear more about what happened yesterday that I want to hear about entertainment news. One affects me, and the other is a simple waste of time.

Maybe we need to change the scenario a little. Let’s start thinking about the news having nothing “bad” to report. Only good news.

I wonder, would this change the way we want to pay attention to the “good stuff” when there is no “bad stuff”… Would this change our society any? I do not want to stick my head in the sand and ignore all the bad things that are happening, but perhaps we need to pepper our bad news mentality with some good news…

Anne Murray sang a song in 1983 that reached #74 on the Pop Chart, and #1 on the Country Chart.

A Little Good News
Anne Murray
Written by Charles Black, Rory Bourke, and Thomas Rocco

I rolled out this morning
Kids had the mornin’ news show on
Bryant Gumbel was talkin’ ’bout the fighting in Lebanon
Some senator was squawkin’ ’bout the bad economy
It’s gonna get worse you see, we need a change in policy
There’s a local paper rolled up in a rubber band
One more sad story’s one more than I can stand
Just once how I’d like to see the headline say
“Not much to print today, can’t find nothin’ bad to say”, because

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD’ed, nobody burned a single buildin’ down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

I’ll come home this evenin’
I’ll bet that the news will be the same
Somebody takes a hostage, somebody steals a plane
How I wanna hear the anchor man talk about a county fair
And how we cleaned up the air, how everybody learned to care
Whoa, tell me

Nobody was assassinated in the whole Third World today
And in the streets of Ireland, all the children had to do was play
And everybody loves everybody in the good old USA
We sure could use a little good news today

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD’ed, nobody burned a single buildin’ down
FADE
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today