What constitutes news? - 07/25/14

We've been talking a lot about this lately.  In fact, if you watch or listen to our live stream, you probably heard us talking about it during break the other day.

There's no doubt that journalism has changed since we started in this business.  More frequently, in the age of social media, exactly what constitutes news is changing.  I don't think it's for the better.

Are any of these stories newsworthy or of relevance to your life?

Boy banned from donut shop because owners think he's rude
Dad tweets about rude gate attendant
Girl sues her parents to pay for college tuition
Boy sent home for controversial t-shirt
Employee fired for spitting in customer's food

You know, these "problems" used to pop up and people would settle them on their own, NOT cry to the media about it.
It's frustrating to see that "news" has become a place for anyone to grip about something they don't like.   It's equally frustrating when news outlets fall for it.
If there's a story that helps solve a real problem; a story that holds the powerful accountable; a story that uncovers a true injustice; a story that investigates wrongdoing; those are some of the pillars of true journalism.
I'd like to say that we won't air these nonsense, non-news stories, but I know they will continue to show up.  As long as people use Google for reliable sources and can't live a day without a Facebook or Twitter check-in, I suppose those stories will be what end up in the headlines.



 

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Last Update on October 24, 2014 09:09 GMT

COIN TOSS-MAYOR

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Usually, one flips a coin to determine things like who gets the ball first in a football game or who gets first dibs at the last slice of pie or something. But to settle an election? That's what happened in a small town high in the Peruvian Andes. Two candidates tied at the ballot box -- with each getting 236 votes in the municipal election. Peru's electoral law allows tie races to be decided by a coin toss. So the coin was tossed. And the winner -- Wilber Medina. His rival says he's cool with the results. It isn't known whether heads or tails carried the day -- and the election.

PUMPKINS-PIGS

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. (AP) -- It started as a potential case of pilfered pumpkins. But it turned out to be a windfall for a group of pigs. Foster's Daily Democrat in Somersworth, New Hampshire reports hundreds of pumpkins were reported stolen earlier week. The gourds had been set aside behind a school to be sold this weekend at a craft fair. The investigation didn't get far. Turns out a farmer spotted the pumpkins and asked a school worker if he could take them to feed his pigs. The school employee didn't know the pumpkins were being saved -- and the farmer took them. Police say the only ones that turned out happy in the whole episode -- are the hogs.

FIREWORKS-FUNERAL

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- When the fireworks burst in the air tomorrow night over Springfield, Missouri -- it won't be the Fourth of July -- but the last of James Carver. A Missouri funeral director will be bidding farewell to his dad -- by having his cremated remains mixed with fireworks -- and launched into the sky. Carver's father is the first to try the program by Greenlawn Funeral Homes. His son Jim is the funeral director -- and says the eight-minute fireworks display will be followed by a cookout and memorial celebration.