Saturday, 4 January 2014

British weather as front page news - is this the first sign of Mass Media collapse?

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British weather is, by the standards of almost anywhere else in the world, extremely temperate - lacking in extremes, unglamorous, un-sexy.

Its distinguishing feature is intermittent and unpredictable tepid rain.

Nonetheless, recently, British weather has been front page, headline news in many of the major big circulation newspapers.

To me this smacks of sheer desperation. I imagine that to lead with a weather headline (at the level of "some houses somewhat flooded somewhere") must represent something close to utter humiliation for a journalist. Only to be done when there is absolutely no alternative.

And yet that is what we are getting - in newspaper, on TV and the radio.

The beginning of the end?

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6 comments:

  1. This is going to seem a stretch of a segway, but one thing I have noticed in a lot of sermons is the tendency to reference whatever was in the news this week. Usually some disaster or killing, in this country or abroad, and then something about how terrible things seem and how they are getting worse and how do you keep the faith in such times.

    It's all a little bit of nonsense no. Do people really need to be living in the world created by mass news media? Is that really relevant to their spiritual lives? On the whole I find it a real waste of a homily.

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  2. @asdf - I think the Church of England prayer handbook has a recommended structure for the intercessionary prayers where there is a section in which the priestess is supposed to summarize the front page of The Guardian newspaper... at least, that's what it seems like.

    Is segway for segue a deliberate pun (akin to interweb)?

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  3. Fears grow for...
    The country fears...
    It is feared that...
    Fear for...

    Interspersed with:

    Fury at...
    Rage felt against...
    Furious rage felt by...

    These lines ARE the news, now, while whatever the rage or fear is directed at, merely the vehicle for the emotions.

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  4. @Crow. Indeed. But I wonder whether the journalists sometimes, in the dead of night, realize how lame it is to be so reactive to such pathetic stimuli as the British winter, or what some obscure teenage potty mouth has said on Twitter.

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  5. This is going to seem a stretch of a segway, but one thing I have noticed in a lot of sermons is the tendency to reference whatever was in the news this week.

    Ha, I have the same complaint! "Did you hear about such-and-such? Terrible wasn't it, and by the way here's my sermon..." the pastor says. I come to church to get *away* from the mass media-driven world, thank you!

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  6. @asdf,

    Ya - I'm put off by the tendency, at various Catholic churches I've been at, to pray for ... whatever was in the news the last week. Seems too ad hoc to me, and as you say, a little too bound to the MSM.

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