While we were traveling, though unintended, I only watched television a few hours.
If I subtract the time that the TV was on a food channel at my sister-in-law’s and watching Mama Mia at my brother-in-law’s, it’s down to less than an hour of TV for 27 days away from home — and that was primarily checking for weather forecasts.
It was a good break from television and some of the things that bug me about it.
Today, watching the evening news, it struck me just how much of what is presented as news really isn’t news, at least as far as I’m concerned.
I was watching a story about the shooting of two young soldiers — one killed — in Little Rock at a joint Army – Navy recruiting office. The story is still new so there are a lot of unanswered questions and it’s understandable that the story is still rough and not fully fleshed out.
However, a couple of things about the story struck me the wrong way.
The alleged shooter was apprehended 30 minutes later and the story had to mention that their station was the only one that had a camera at the police station when the suspect was brought in. That’s not news. It’s gratuitous self-promotion.
As is fairly common, I guess, they found it necessary to get some local reaction from people at the scene. They interviewed one young fellow who had driven down to shopping center that the recruiting office was in because his girlfriend works there, she gets upset easily and, besides checking on her, he wanted to find out what was going on. I’m sorry, but local reaction is generally not news.
While the specifics may vary, local reaction to a shooting is going to be predictable, but it’s not news unless the reaction is something unexpected.
For instance, if the local reaction had been for citizens to have apprehended the suspect instead of the police, that would have been news.