What Is More Newsworthy: Syria, Sridevi, Zayn Malik’s Renditions?
There is Syria drowning in the blood of their civil war…
Our world is glittering in the light of stardom.
Somewhere people are dying as collateral damage and then there are ‘personalities’ dying.
There is violence and corruption in our own homeland.
What will catch your attention?
Our lives on this side of the glass, as a common man, is divided between 10 minutes of reading about all of the above. Our days are spent discussing what Zayn Malik sang and why, how badly Lahori Qalandars are losing at PSL and those unnamed lives struggling for life in Ghouta. Some of us even dare to ask where exactly is this place?
Our memories are like that. Our lives are like that. News is like that; some incidents are important, imperative to reach to the masses – others just popular. The good thing about ‘popular’ news is that it doesn’t have to make an effort to reach a larger audience. The important news has to struggle to make way to people’s attention.
In journalism we are taught to deliver news as fast as it comes to us, as accurately as possible and unveil the truth for the people. The audience makes their judgement, the reader/viewers get the freedom to ignore a news and follow up on other.
Then what am I complaining about? Am I not the one giving you all kinds of news to meet the various interests to cater to majority of the people?
Then what is newsworthy is not what the news is about, it is what the people think is worthy of news. Which is why the news of a high profile celebrity got many of us to change our social media pictures in her memory. It is what people find newsworthy that makes a news popular, which is why Facebook generates temporary backgrounds for display pictures about Gay rights, terrorism in France, FIFA cup, and in general a safe option of ‘world peace’.
Some stories interest people and what interests people becomes newsworthy.
Now it makes sense why the news of civil war in Syria doesn’t engage our attention for long. That is why social media hardly ever generates filters, backgrounds to honour the lives of Syrians or for that matter Kashmir.
As Pakistanis we love to indulge in entertaining news. To escape our corrupt nepotism ridden system, the blame game, own failure, we try to anchor our sanity by ignoring the elephant in the room. What should be our national discourse takes a backseat. As a ‘Muslim’ majority country, or simply since we happen to be human beings, our discourse should be about more serious issues plaguing our world. We need to get past the petty popular news and realise what really is newsworthy.
Does media makes certain news more newsworthy than the other?
The choices we make in daily life reflects our priorities, thoughts,concerns – what we want or do not want in this world. The media from around the world influences us in ways we don’t realise. But we are not merely robots. We can think, assess and process. Media will show us what can be newsworthy, making us believe what needs our attention. We do not need to follow the pied piper. With the world ripe with violence, war, corruption, super powers; we have to be our own masters.