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FormulaStory

There's a pattern, rather an unfortunate one, which my wife (PD) has noted in far too many recent feature "news" items:

Of course, in some ways this approach is a waste of time: nobody in the audience ends up knowing much more than when you started. But maybe increasing public uncertainty is appropriate, especially on issues where there is no one right answer. Some experts say Yes, and some say No. Could it be that content-free reportage is actually a good thing for Society?

TopicWriting - TopicSociety - TopicHumor

Datetag20010815


Comment

It's at least certain that a definitive answer to that question cannot be excluded.

News is an ephemeral "product", today with advertiser-paid minutes or column space that must be filled. So of course this kind of FUD-stirring is one way of creating content to fill the time slot, and follow-up controversy for later reports. -- Bo Leuf


To be newsworthy, something must be new and interesting. Most
people consider a potential upset of conventional wisdom
interesting, whether or not they are interested in the
subject at hand. For example, the recent controversy about
endangered zebras sprouting wings and flying off to
never-never land has sparked much interest. A newsperson
should compare and contrast the views of the experts in the field and fairly summarize them in an easily understandable
form. If they must supply conclusions to aid the lazy-minded,
they should be clearly labeled as the reporter's own. I
think the Formula is a good thing, though I admit it can
get a bit tiresome when the manufactured controversy
obscures the facts involved.


(correlates: TheNewTwenty, UnimaginableTimelessness, CorporalIncentivization, ...)