September 11, 2000
2:59 PM   Subscribe

"I've been a broadcast journalist for a quarter of a century and I've never seen a slower period ... There is really no comparison in our lifetime." Are we facing The End of News? Will we ever again live in interesting times? (Yes, I know it's a Salon link. But I've been thinking about this for a while.)
posted by aaron (8 comments total)
I'm very glad that aaron posted this link, because it gives me an excuse to link to the CNN item that quotes my girlfriend. OK, so we're all very happy that her issue made the front page of CNN's site, but is it really this newsworthy? Interesting, yes--it gives numbers to heretofore anecdotal evidence. But, surely, no one is really surprised.
posted by MrMoonPie at 3:09 PM on September 11, 2000

What a summer it's been. Icky music, no good movies, and no news. Just a big 00.

Heh, sorry, couldn't resist.

Notwithstanding my witlessness, has been the Summer of Boredom. Must be some cosmic thang. Are there any Kennedys left worth killing?
posted by frykitty at 3:17 PM on September 11, 2000

it's funny because salon is trying to make news about there not being any news. how ironic
posted by starduck at 3:43 PM on September 11, 2000

The irony is that CNN has led the tabloidisation and sensationalisation of news coverage, and encouraged the triumph of the "live" over the relevant. (Though bizarrely, as the quality of CNN's news coverage has plummetted, the standard of its documentaries has risen.)

If you take your news from the independent media, the better papers, or from stations such as the BBC World Service, you gain an awareness of the quiet earth-shaking events that have taken place over the summer: the ongoing detente in Korea, and the snowballing mobilisation of protest against globalisation.

This is all "hard" news: it's chewy, the issues are complex, there's not much room for the CNN helicopters and the instant reaction. But it's all there.

I'm reminded, in so many ways, of sultry nights in Georgia when the humidity is stifling. And then the clouds break, and the storm brings relief. Culturally, politically, it's that kind of closeness.
posted by holgate at 4:01 PM on September 11, 2000

I'm with holgate: there are very substantial things going on in the world right now. perhaps the season is just light on sensationalism.

posted by rebeccablood at 4:27 PM on September 11, 2000

There's plenty going on if you look for it, and I'm sure news channels could find it if they really wanted to. I'm not sure whether to blame narrow-minded news staff or the easily-bored millions their programming is pitched to.

posted by Mars Saxman at 6:00 PM on September 11, 2000

Having just moved to Orange County a year ago I am amazed at how many "breaking news" events there are every day and how many of those events involve car chases, shootings, fires, and traffic jams. When did the Fox Network reinvent "breaking news" to mean "stuff guys 18-24 like to watch"? And more importantly, why did the rest of the television media follow their lead?

Meanwhile, there are a lot of interesting, sometimes groundbreaking and trend setting legislation being passed by the California State House and Senate. Yet when I watch the news on TV, there isn't a peep about the proceedings from the following day.

All I have to say is: Thank you God for NPR.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 8:22 PM on September 11, 2000

When did the Fox Network reinvent "breaking news" to mean "stuff guys 18-24 like to watch"?

When they realised that news simply entails slapping "LIVE" on the screen, no matter what the circumstances. That, combined with lowbrow consumer trivia, the bloody newscopters and the prick-teaser weather forecasts, makes network news in the US the unwatchable mess it is now.
posted by holgate at 5:07 AM on September 12, 2000

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