I limit the amount of television news I watch these days. Why? I am tired of molehill news. Each day tiny issues (molehills) are paraded before my eyes and ears as if they were mountainous news. We, the consumer, have forgotten that news organizations are in the business of making money. Controversial news makes good money. No controversy? No problem. News stations will search for and I would suggest invent controversy to get a riveting sound bite and soar in the ratings. Surprisingly, we let them use us to succeed. We are a bunch of talking heads expressing opinions on air as if these thoughts were really news.
We are a bunch of dupes.
Watching news reminds me of an elementary school playground at recess time. Playgrounds have a lot of action and high drama. I should know, I have plenty of experience supervising these playgrounds. If someone skins a knee, children will converge on the fallen child shouting questions and comments.
“Who pushed you?”
“I saw the whole thing.”
“It was Tommy’s fault!”
The young crowd is soon dispersed with calming words “There’s no story here. Go and play. Everything will be fine. We’ll help Susie. No worries. Have some fun.” The adults are the voice of reason as the injury is addressed, the situation is put into perspective and everyone is comforted.
There is no voice of reason or perspective in news these days and certainly no comfort. I realize news organizations need to make a profit or they will be yesterday’s news. I believe making a profit is more difficult because competition is fierce with 24 hour news on many television stations.
The result of this need for money while filling 24 hours of programming and increasing ratings is a very simple formula
Any Event + Controversy = Moneymaking Molehill News
So let us try to put molehill news into perspective:
- News is more moneymaking entertainment than actual news.
- News is the information each news organization chooses to tell us.
- News is not objective and it can’t be because it is told from a human viewpoint. Even when we try to be objective, our personality and perspective punch through.
I am concerned because molehill news is being used to divide us, one from another, and we are lapping it up. People are getting so angry. Why? I don’t have the same political or religious views as many friends and family. So what. Even with these differences I have more in common with them than not.
I think it is time we turn off molehill news and start living productive lives communicating and supporting each other whether we have the same views or not. At the end of the day will you let someone else tell you what to believe or will you choose to live a life that you can believe in?