A “hole” new set of problems

The Plant’s International News editor, Anna Frey, tells us to wake up from our generic soap operas and smell the disaster.

The 33 miners that have been recently rescued from their 69-day underground ordeal are asking the media to please fuck off. I couldn’t agree more.
Harassing public figures like politicians and celebrities who have chosen those high-profile careers is one thing (not that that can’t get extreme in itself), but turning victims of a tragic accident into tabloid fodder is disgusting and pathetic.
What is even more pathetic, though, is how involved the legitimate mainstream media got involved with this case. Both CNN and BBC had countdown clocks on their home pages during the time the miners were being evacuated, not to mention the months of front-page stories about… people in a hole?

News is called what it is for a reason: it should be new. Reporting that the miners are still down there, still alive, and still want to come up, isn’t a story. Nothing changed. Meanwhile, because this was on the front page of every major world news website, other, more newsworthy stories were getting shunted aside. Protests in France what? Murdered in Mexico who? No one seemed to care what was going on anywhere else – we were all wondering who that one miner would greet first: the wife or the lover?

I’m tired of human-interest stories being promoted as news. A soldier dying in the Middle East is news; family drama is not.

It’s no surprise that most of us lead pretty busy lives and catching up on world events probably isn’t a priority for most of us. Because we’re so lackadaisical about choosing to learn about these things, so-called “news” networks have to dramatise and scandalise these issues enough that our curiosity will be piqued and we’ll tune in. God forbid we learn something about current affairs or politics in the seconds between when the Chilean story ends and when we get around to flicking back to Friends reruns.

Let me digress for a moment. When the Beatles came to America and played the Ed Sullivan show, everyone knew about it. Everyone watched it and everyone talked about it. This sort of exposure for the band was only possible for one reason: televisions only had 10 channels. There was very little to choose from, and, once you’d made your choice, you had to get up and walk across the room if you changed your mind.

Nowadays there are so many channels to choose from. There are unimaginable amounts of websites out there – who would read news when there are Facebook statuses to read, tweets to pore through, and virtual pets to care for? Forget about walking across the room, if it’s not your homepage or if Ashton Kutcher doesn’t link to it, it doesn’t get read.

It’s time that we take our lives back from the media. Stop being spoon-fed information like infants and take an active role in your own education.
Leave the miners alone. For their sake and for mine.

(BTW, that guy? With the mistress? He’s living with her now… and his wife lives just down the street! OMG!)

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