It is Saturday and I picked up the Globe and Mail paper and looked at an article regarding tax on foreign buyers of property in Vancouver. Though I am passionate about this topic, I just could not bring myself to read the entire article. It was two broadsheet wide. I started thinking about my tolerance level and reckon that I can read an article that is at the most two and a half news page columns along with a graphic.
While we write an article that is complex and one that we are passionate about, we feel that there is not enough print real estate to accommodate everything. However, the reader in the world of 140 character tweets, whats-app abbreviated, emoji-zed text feels lethargy beyond a certain point and just passes the article over.
Talking of perspectives, a news item on the CBC 24 hour news cycle was a brief interview with a boy who climbed a 20 storeys high power transmission tower. They also played clips recorded by the teens swinging at the great height and looking down. They made it down successfully. Seems life these days has no value except for the parents who have great aspirations for their children. The children themselves are ready to risk their life for a fleeting moment of fame on the internet. This brings me to the question of the value of news and the pressures of a 24 hour news cycle and demand for content. If what the boys did was indeed risky, would it not multiply the risk many fold by broadcasting it on national TV for copycats to try and out do this feat? When does the value of a news to the public justify the fall out of such publication? Another example is the recent live coverage of a terrorist event in Europe. The news anchors were showing live scenes while mentioning that the authorities do not want live scenes shown because it may help the attackers.
During the Mumbai attack, the Indian TV was showing live footage of commandos rappelling down the helicopter to a roof top without thinking about the fact that the terrorists would be using the footage to ambush the commandos. The 24 hour news cycle has spawned the thirst for sensational news (darn the consequences) so that maximum eyeballs can be captured (I believe they call in TRP) so that advertisement revenue can be jacked up.
In the recent election in USA, Trump garnered a lot of free publicity because of his outrageous statements being sensational copy. TV channels clamored to air the footage to attract larger audience and hence higher advertisement revenue.
Money and telecommunication are two of our greatest innovations. Unfortunately, both are dragging down the collective IQ and sensibility of the people and converting them into sheeple. It is converting the serious job of election campaigns to reality TV and trivializing lives of young people who humiliate themselves or put their life on risk to capture footage that would give them some fame.
There are some people who have no talent except that they have leaked a sex tape and periodically release nude pictures of themselves and spawn all kind of salacious gossip about either themselves or with other famous people to stay in the lime light. This in turn makes the media clamor to interview them and add to their “fame” and then they collect money to endorse products that the sheeple buy.
That’s my quota of perspective for today. I do not want this article to be too long for your reading attention span!