But at what cost?
When everybody and their brother can produce content the major media powerhouses are forced to create that much more cutting edge and relevant content. There was a piece today on "technology and sex" on CNN.com. It was a video piece summarizing an admittedly unscientific survey through Marie Claire and Esquire about sexual habits of 19 to 49 year old men and women.
Titalating. Sure, I'll bite. Let's see what they're going to say.
They said NOTHING! And most magazines…what do they say? Nothing! There's a reason on certain days that the New York Times is thin — some days there's really nothing to say. There can't be groundbreaking, meaningful news every day, can there?
I don't know. I have friends who voraciously read many different preriodicals, but how many of them truly produce enough meaningful content to engage a reader every month?
And so many pundits…at what point will they all stand up and say, "y'know, this is really just my opinion."
But here I am, adding to the fracas because I NEED MY VOICE TO BE HEARD, DAMN IT!
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Seriously, though, how often do we find news that's meaningful?
Maybe I need to define meaningful in this context. I see meaningful news as something that is going to shape my life, and that is not some form of emotionally charge myopic viewpoint designed to get me fired up about something that is statistically insignificant.
Barry Glassner recently wrote about this incindiary form of journalism in a book entitled "A Culture of Fear." Great book. He breaks down things we all take for granted as allagorical truths into their empirical basises. For example, every parent is so parnoid about their child being abducted by a stranger but the statistical liklihood of that ever happening is close to that of being struck by lightning. And yet, news stories hammer the horror of such events into our collective unconsiousness whenever such events occur.
And through this we learn about nothing, except for preparing for the stastically unlikely, and masticating trivia that does nothing more than fill in the silent moments of cocktail parties.
What about taking time instead to meditate, or commune with nature, or connect with our parents, or our kids? What about philosphizing about what can make the world better and acting upon being better local citizens? What about slowing down when we're driving and letting someone merge into traffic instead of jockeying for position with our one ton vehicles ending up in someone flipping the other person off?
What about news that's going to tell me stop buying useless knickknacks I never needed in the first place, or cosmetics that make me look like someone I am not? What about news that affirms that I am OK being who I am, but encouraging me to be the best person I can be?
What about eliminating the fear of not having as much sex as the average male, of masturbating more than the average male, of making less money than the average male, or being shorter than the average male.
What if a website like CNN posted a blank page one day saying "there's really nothing to report on today?"
What if media outlets stopped running pieces placed by Public Relations firms and packaging them in a way that they could still, legally, call it news? (Yes, that is what 80% of your "news" really is.) And you wonder why you feel like you're often reading the same articles over and over.
Tell me when we know that Ahmadinejad has nukes. Tell me when Cheney admits his continued ties with Halliburton. Tell me when my property taxes are going up, and what the excuse was this time. But if you're going to tell me something I already know, like that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, don't bother.