It’s about blogs.
Having read blogs for a few months before beginning this, I feel sort of unfulfilled.
News is telling stories. Stories stir interest. We, humans, tell stories, and enjoy them. Each of us has a different way to tell a story, and of course each of us might choose something unique to tell, and each perspective would of course be valid… and different, Rashomon-style.
Defining what news is is perhaps necessary at this point. News, which in it’s purest for is the recording of an event, can only try to be objective, but as well you know there are many who complain stories never are.
You know that by the time you read/hear about it, the event is often long over, and since were reading/hearing a report we have the story second, third, x hand. We try and relate it to our view of the world, how it will affect us personally, and we look for answers that might spill over into our own lives.
A bit like fiction then.
The thing about news that makes us into news junkies is it’s timeliness. It’s dynamic, complelling, and originates from that space where nothing existed before, out of nowhere, and it blinks at us from across our desk or and screen. It rivets our attention. It just happened!
News is most interesting us when it is seemingly happening. A car chase being photgraphed from the air is fascinating, as we are seeing something inexplicable happen (or happen for inexplicable reasons). When a new story comes out e.g. Tom DeLay is a Paedo! well that’s a story you want to click right away ‘cos it’s fresh, surprising. And someone somewhere profits from the click…
So the question my brain is trying to form is something like, are blogs useful? A blogger worth his ISP can put a spin on a story that can put it in perspective. Especially when they’re complex and not immediately… I don’t have a good word to use here, so ‘grokkable’ will have to do.
The answer has to be yes. They entertain, give us perspective, and when one finds a blog with a theme or mirrors a specific genre one enjoys or likes to track, they can sort through stories that we might otherwise miss.
I think there is another question here too. Such as, are blogs relevant?
Well, blogs serve many masters. Besides navel gazers, the most typical blog are news aggregators as mentioned above. There are blogs that feature gossip and whose purpose is to entertain (and provide revenue via clicks). Entertainment, while it might have the appearance of, isn’t really relevant. Hell, I’m entertained just sitting on the toilet sometimes, and there ain’t nobody that would call one of my best craps relevant.
Blogs that focus on stories of local interest are somewhat useful in that they tell the whole world about a story happening in my local area, which is ironic given that my local news organizations (tv, radio, newspaper) often miss them.
I could go on here about how I can channel hop during the hour when several channels present their ‘news’ and the talking heads change while the script remains the same. Freaky, man. What makes this additionally funny (or sad- your call) is even the commercial breaks are concurrently timed. I mean, why do we even need more than one channel? AFAICS it’s only to get a better perspective on that police chase.
As far as relevance, I guess that depends on the reader. The question I should be asking, is, how can I be relevant?
I guess the presupposes that I, a lazy, opinionated, belligerent, left-leaning cnsrvative, white male nearing fifty, am relevant.