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09 February 2007 @ 04:45 pm
Dear CNN--can you report the real news?  
To CNN.com via their feedback web form:

While I have no problem with Anna Nicole Smith's death being reported, I question whether celebrity news like this deserves the prominence of being listed at the top of your web page, the equivalent of front page news, when it could be listed under Entertainment down below. Likewise, I was dismayed to see live coverage of her death on the various cable news outlets.

Everyone I discuss this issue (the encroachment of celebrity news on the front pages or broadcasts) with agrees that they are dismayed that "real" news is being displaced or pushed into less prominent displays, given less time, or are reported in less depth to make room for this stuff. It used to be if you wanted to learn about the minute details of celebrity's lives you had to read a special section or special magazine devoted to that sort of thing. Now it's splashed all over the front pages or near the top of the nightly broadcast. I could care less about Madonna's adoption, the latest "Brangelina" news or other such material. Please, find a better sense of proportion and keep the celeb news in the entertainment section where it belongs.

I'd also like to see a "religion" section of your page where issues related to all religions are reported.
grimspace on February 10th, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)
But it's got everything!
I'd like to say not having a T.V. erases this annoyance, but I'd be lying because it's on all the 'news' sites on the web as well. The only difference was the Sprod and I not knowing who it was. You know, a lot of writers, musicians and aught have passed on in the last few weeks. A few lines, that's it. So why, besides our 'culture of celebrity' does this story end up spewed everywhere? I think because it's the stuff of morality tales. Gold digger marries older man hoping to outlive him and have the gold, she gets gold but then her son dies and to add that soupcon of puritan/karmic fable ending - she boots it at a young age. Then we have the only 'innocent' party, her new-born daughter, left to inherit the wealth ( when that's decided by the courts).

Le Sprod and I are always asking each other "why is THIS news"? on so many stories involving such things. Well, one has the LCD effect - lowest common denominator. A very interesting story will please a limited audience so water them down so they will appeal to millions and what are you left with.

Two books for you if you haven't already read them:

The Day of the Locust: Nathanael West
A Massive Swelling: Cintra Wilson

Put together, they explain it all about our culture. What is even creepier is West wrote his in 1939 and it still rings true. *shudder*

KaliSurferkali_surfer on February 12th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
News as Infotainment
It was great reading how you felt about how the whole Nichole Smith story was handled on CNN. I wrote to their web site about how unhappy I was with this hour after hour coverage of a grade C celebrity with psychological problems. The next day I got back a form letter thanking me for writing and that all comments are valuable...yadayada ect.

As long as news is controlled by only a handful of media corporate giants, ratings and sponsor dollars will supercede the need for real news unless it's a big story such as 9/11 or Katrina.

I usually watch the BBC for fast looks into world events, for they report news up front and then hold the infotainment till the end of the show.