Thursday, December 20, 2012
Here, There & Everywhere
Somewhere around age 10 I wrote a newsletter to family and friends and called it Here, There & Everywhere. I’d ditto copy it on the machine at Dad’s school and mail it. I can’t quite remember all the details, but I vaguely recall charging a subscription rate. The originals are safely ensconced in a box in a storage facility somewhere in Southern California, but the ethos lives on. The goal of that enterprise was to have entertaining and interesting tidbits that would interest readers. A lot of things have changed since then, but today’s media environment requires even more effort to grab people’s attention, whether it be a family newsletter, a blog or mass media.
Being able to multi-task and manage a variety of things simultaneously is a given in today’s fast paced world. It’s interesting in a world that is more fractured, with more demands on our focus and attention that the media landscape has become more singularly focused.
Looking back over the past several months, the cable networks, newspapers, and their online counterparts have all gone to single coverage on major stories like Super Storm Sandy, the Presidential election, the “Fiscal Cliff”and most recently the tragedy in Sandy Hook. Each of these stories has merit, require attention and focus. But to the exclusion of everything else?
The online resources that are available to support news organizations should allow a variety of stories to be reported with a better depth. Instead it’s all one subject all the time until the next one comes along. The ad-nauseum ‘what if’ scenarios that the various television people talk amongst themselves and their colleagues is maddening and has infiltrated newspaper and magazine theorists as well. What happened to actually interviewing lawmakers, or experts in the field? When did a reporter for their own network become the go-to expert on a particular subject?
I never thought I’d be one of those people longing for the good old days of (fill in the blank). But I do. I listen to BBC most mornings because I can get a range of stories that are happening in the world. Then I’ll switch over to Morning Joe and Soledad on CNN to see how long I can tolerate the hypothesis of the day. It’s often not long.
Perhaps the saturation coverage of whatever the subject de jour is an antidote to the fractured world. If all major stations are covering the same story in largely the same way for days on end, maybe the essence will filter through to the audience? Not that anybody’s asking me, but I’d much prefer my news to be Here, There and Everywhere.