Saturday, April 20, 2013

News Overload

In a small way, I'm a news junkie.  I check the Boulder and Denver (CO) newspapers daily; I check the Gainesville and Vero Beach (FL) newspapers daily; I check the Salisbury (MD) paper daily; I check the Chincoteague Beacon and the Eastern Shore News weekly.  I get news headlines from NBC-TV, from ESPN, and from several Archaeological resources daily; and I get news from the Blood Horse Magazine daily.  I do understand that we now live in a time when technology allows "instantaneous" news reports - but I don't like being completely inundated by one news topic for hours on end.
  My complaints are pointed at the live news coverage of yesterday's events in Boston.  I admit I watch our local TV news, and I'm fond of several of the reporters; and I watch the "Evening News with Brian Williams" on NBC.  I grew up watching Walter Cronkite deliver the Nightly News during supper, so that watching the afternoon and evening news shows is more of a habit than any necessity.  I first started experiencing what I term "News Burnout" in 1987 - especially the Friday night that "Baby Jessica" McClure was rescued from the well she had fallen into in Texas.  National TV programming was pre-empted and one either had to watch the rescue, or play a VHS tape of a movie, or, do what I did, which was read a book with the TV muted....  What was pre-empted was never rebroadcast, either.
  Yes, I wrote my "Mad As Hell" Blog about the Boston Marathon bombing.  I was, and still am, mad as hell about the bombing.  I am extremely happy that the brother bombers were identified.  I am happy that the one surviving brother has been captured.  I am deliriously happy that the people of Boston, Watertown and Cambridge can get back to living their normal lives.  But I was NOT happy with the national TV coverage - I honestly have no idea of when the coverage began yesterday afternoon.  I live in Colorado, and what happens on the east coast has a time-stamp of two hours previous to that same time here in Boulder.  All I know is I turned on the TV a bit early for the afternoon news, and was immediately in Massachusetts, where 95% of the reporting originated from until after 9 p.m. last night.  I was able to hear bits and pieces of "local" news - but that was all.
  Too Much Information was what I received yesterday - and a lot of that information was "eyewitness reports" from people who were inside their homes.  It became totally ludicrous...  It was not in any, way, shape or form NEWS.  It was flying from the seat of your pants journalism, hoping and scrambling to find fill-in flotsam and jetsam until an Official Announcement was made.  I had hoped to view three network shows last night - and all of them were pre-empted.  I, once again, read a book with the TV muted, in case someone in a programming office somewhere decided to use their brain.
  I realize that "Ratings" and "$$$" are the big movers and shakers in television today.  But I honestly would have preferred regular programming until there was a clear end to this entire business.  Refer people who want to sit mindlessly for hours to CNN or MSNBC, or Fox News...  but please understand that enough  is enough. Sometimes.

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