Do we even consider the news that passes across our screens anymore? I mean, consider some of the stories I came across today: a history of red dresses on the red carpet, Ivanka Trump-bashing for posting an innocent picture on Instagram (because she didn’t comment on her father’s travel ban), and the 10 best dancing Winnie-The-Pooh songs. And that’s just a starter! Ladies and gentlemen, I ask of you, what has our news become? There is so much shit going on in this world right now, and instead of focusing on these issues, we are hiding beneath a cloak of entertainment stories and fluff.
For some expert advice on the shift in news between physical newspapers before the internet, and the internet news stories today, I called my grandparents. I mean, if anyone should be able to recognize the change, it should be the people that can remember a time when people actually read a real, paper newspaper. Imagine that!
Nan, my grandmother, believes that we’re getting more news that isn’t actually applicable to our current lives. Because we now have the internet, and everyone can express their opinions, we have more “this is the truth because I think it’s the truth” instead of the “these are the unbiased facts”. She thinks that this shift is because our culture has reached a point where we care more about which celebrity is fighting with who than we do with the more important things, mostly because these important things are getting pretty terrifying to comprehend. With all the stuff going on in the world right now, no one can disagree with that. Nan also thinks that shift is on both the media and the audience, because the audience demands what they want from the media, yet the media still has a choice in what they give the audience.
Papa, my grandfather, focused on the difference between entertainment news, and actual news. Because in a paper newspaper, there’s less room for fluff, the focus used to be on the important news. He thinks the shift from real news to entertainment news could be the reason of a couple of things: one, the competition between the dwindling number of media companies, two, the editorial freedom within the media companies, and three, and I quote, the fact that “people are shallow and want entertainment” (a statement with which I 100% agree). He thinks that this shift is on the consumer, not the media, because it’s the consumer that makes demands of the media; thus, if the consumer wanted hard news, that’s what the media would give them.
When I asked him if he thought this shift would have happened if the internet hadn’t come to be, he in turn asked me if the internet was responsible for global awareness, and whether or not that global awareness would have come about regardless. This question, I think, is pretty important to consider, because are we even globally aware? We can find news sites that give us any opinion we want, regardless of its truth, which could allow us to be ‘globally aware’ without receiving an ounce of truth!
If we consider the opinion of people who have seen the shift between pre-internet news and news today, we can see that there’s been a drastic shift between the hard news we used to receive and the sensationalized news stories we receive now. What this means depends on the person, but I think we all need to start considering whether we really need to know a history of red dresses on the red carpet or how Donald Trump’s regime is going to affect the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world.