On April 18, 1930, BBC radio began and ended its evening newscast with the following:
“Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news.” Instead of news that day, the BBC treated England to piano music.
Whether there was actually no news or the BBC was feeling incredibly lazy that day is up for debate and really does not matter. What DOES matter is that each day WE, the viewers, decide whether or not there is news.
Just because what’s happening in the world doesn’t affect your little bubble doesn’t label it ignorable. Here’s why we think the news is actually interesting.
1. You find out when you’re being screwed.
Every scientific bit of research you’ve read would go unpublished save for obscure trade journals if the news media didn’t pick it up. When agencies report that, say, an alarming number of children’s toys are being made with lead, they rely on news outlets to spread the word on their behalf. As a journalist, it is a public duty to protect the public by handing them information with which they can take action. If the public fails to change anything from it, it’s their own fault.
2. The news is full of soap operas, except they’re real.
North Korea continues to have us on an IV drip of regular insanity on a daily basis, and we love it. This week’s sentencing of an American missionary to 15 years of hard labor is yet another episode with no season finale in sight. This is real life. These are real people. For a generation that grew up on reality television, I can think of no higher form of reality than…well, reality.
3. Happy news actually exists
So much so that Happy News has its own news aggregate dedicated to sniffing out smile stories. It’s possible that when good news does come around, we can’t recognize it. Whenever Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz proudly drops the F-bomb live at Fenway Park, that’s happy. Whenever medicine advances and diseases are beaten back, that’s happy. Even when the Down Jones closes in the green, that’s happy. Good news might not always be the hardest hitting, but it reminds us that Earth doesn’t totally suck.
4. There are no re-runs.
We groan over court cases and celebrity drama being repeatedly reported on, but it’s never the same as the day before. Each broadcast is fresh. Even NPR’s hourly broadcasts are not all the same. There’s always SOMETHING new, even if it’s just a minor plot twist. If you’re not agreeing, than fire your news outlet and go find one who’s doing it right.
5. News is history as it happens
Every piece of news currently running has past origins and future implications. There are no singular events, and we’re just watching the world spin until these events cause future events ad infinium. Watching the news challenges us to predict the future by what’s going on today, and that’s exciting.
Photos from nydailynews.com and goldderby.com