Hey Folks — Look at this illuminating list of what constitutes “news,” at least according to the Minnesota Associated Press guidelines for reporters, as posted on the blog Business Insider and first reported by Libby Reinish on savethenews.org.
Note that train wrecks, airplane crashes and drownings are news, as are car crashes if there are “multiple victims or unusual circumstances.”
Fatal fires, exceptionally violent robberies, ice storms and damaging floods are also all “news,” while plain vanilla deaths are not.
That’s why it always seems like the world is coming to an end: Only the worst, creepiest, goriest stuff, as you well know, makes it to the airwaves (with an occasional saved kitten thrown in). What’s interesting is that this “news” isn’t new at all. It is Kabuki — an elaborate ritual. Far from new and surprising, it MUST conform to a template and here it is! Laid out for us by the Associated Press folks in Minnesota! As we can see, the job of a “news” story is to constantly re-confirm the media’s contention that the world is a terrible, mean, scary place (except, again, for the kittens). It’s like Groundhog Day, without the feel-good ending.
So here’s an idea: Let’s stop calling it news and start calling it what it is: Same Old Apocalypse. “What’s on TV?” ” SOA.” “Turn it off.” — Lenore