I know this is supposed to be The Information Age, but I think we have raced way passed that stage and slid right into the The Entertainment Age. Take a look at some of the recent “News” (read: Useless Gossip) headlines-types, and current trends, and I think you will see what I mean: Famous Star Wows in New Dress, T.V. Shows Canceled, New Movie Release, WW III Pending, What’s Hot and What’s Not, Can You Guess Her Age? Russian-China Alliance Upsets the Balance, Is She a He? The Trendiest Foods to Keep You Slim… Nothing about the $18.5 trillion dollar national debt. Little about world affairs unless it sounds alarmist and can sell a book. Apparently this is the stuff that gets clicked on the most. Can I blame the “news services” for prioritizing fluff and scare tactics when that is what gets people to promote their sites?
Well, actually, I can. I do. I believe that services purporting to put out “The News” should use some modicum of discretion. There used to be a name for journalists who only reported sensational glitz, but I refrain from being openly insulting when hinting at the obvious makes the point. Does that let the millions of readers who click on the sensational garbage off the hook? Does the fact that no one will know when someone is clicking on “Famous Star’s Newest Indiscretion” keep them innocent of guilt in the matter? No. Guilty as charged even if no one sees. It’s like pornography, in fact, these days there is little difference between some “news” reports and outright porn. Its purpose is to titillate and sensationalize – even at the expense of the human beings involved. Is it really okay for anyone to spend their time salivating over other people’s lives? And then there is the whole gaping hole of responsible journalism which should take important issues like the $18.5 trillion debt issue a little more seriously. Today many of the news services have their own objectives – to sell their own agendas. They heavily weigh their stories on trends which they support. Who are “they”? I don’t know, but I do know they lack objective professionalism. Some of the men and women choosing today’s news headlines are not informing us; they are attempting to mold us. Entertainment Age? If that is what you want, you can have it. Just remember – entertainment is meant to fill a few hours with fun, not fill lives with meaning.