No News Is Bad News

When the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel first broke out I was transformed into a news junkie (even more so than usual). I was constantly checking the news before I’d go to bed or left the house and right when I woke up. This was news! According to the pundits, this had the potential to escalate into WWIII. I listened carefully for nuances of policy and progress and watched as the story unfolded.

Then something happened. All the news channels set up camp in the region and began covering the story from all sides, and doing a great job. But then the news stopped.

I know they’re still there and the conflict continues. But there is no new news. The only thing to report is when and where attacks are taking place and how many casualties there are on each side.

If I remember correctly, there was other news in the news before this news broke. I believe there was something about nuclear threats in Asia and the Middle East, and a little project called the Iraq War. And what about that Embryonic Stem Cell Research thing? Yeah, it was covered, but was it analyzed to death like it should be?

The conflict between Hezbollah and Israel may be important, and is certainly compelling. But I believe the time has come to get “fair and balanced” again. Let’s devote just a little more time to domestic news and other important stories around the world. As it is, for the last few days we have had to endure endless speculation in lieu of new news. Why hasn’t the US said anything? What will happen when we do? Well, can’t we just save that for water cooler talk? I mean, aren’t there any Americans out there who can think for themselves and have intelligent conversations about world events without having the talking heads do it for them?

Is it just me? I thought that news and journalism was dedicated to the enterprise of reporting what has happened, not what will happen. But I guess that is the price we pay for a news culture that is content to “report” press releases rather than research a story.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with news commentary. I enjoy it sometimes. But there is a difference between analysis and speculation.

And so today I could not stomach watching the news another minute. Why? Because they were only really covering one story and there was nothing new to report. Maybe I’ll wait a day or two. In the meantime, I’ll have to search the net for other important stories.

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