No News At All

One of the things we hear time and time again from the purveyors of what I shall term Old Media, is how awful things will be if we continue let the hoi polloi, you know, just do stuff without any ‘proper’ supervision. As I pointed out in my long philosophical post The King is Dead! Long Live the King!, it’s not just those with a commercial interest in the dying paradigm who fall for this spurious illusion, either. The lamenting of our ‘loss of standards and the disintegration of our culture’ is becoming a bit of an annoying whine throughout the media in general. So, as we endure all the moaning and the hand-wringing from Rupert Murdoch and other forecasters of cultural doom, I think the question we really need to consider is one that they haven’t cared to air: Just how good is this Old Media anyway? When the Wall falls, what kinds of carefully honed and insightful commentary will we be missing from the Fourth Estate’s cloisters of Quality Journalism?

Perhaps we’d lose masterpieces of perspicacity such as this one, by the accomplished and obviously highly credentialled Stephen Cauchi,1 that appeared this week in the Melbourne Age:

Victoria Spared the Summer That Could Have Been Hell

The fact that the headline didn’t have exclamation marks is testament to the restraint of the sub editor, but one can feel the effort of will staying his hand – if he’d been at The Sun I’m sure he’d have caved.

In case you need some interpretation here, this is a story about something that didn’t happen. This is ‘news’ about something that isn’t actually news! Thank God we have journalists from the Melbourne Age on cases like this – I’d hate to think of what might happen if the (non) information got into the hands of someone less experienced!

I’m sure you’ve seen similar things, like the one implied in my headline in the picture at top:

Earth Escapes Asteroid Collision!

No it didn’t. It wasn’t in the way of the asteroid in the first place, so where’s the ‘escape’? Escape is when you dodge out of the way at the last moment and thank your lucky stars for your quick thinking.

So, fellow bloggers and blog enthusiasts. I propose that we are equally as good as Rupert’s cadre of sharpened pencil-heads, if not better. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to create a headline for something that might have happened if not for the Grace of God. A prize will be awarded (it will most likely be something from the Tetherd Cow Ahead Gift Shoppe, so I suggest you might like to pay a visit and browse to give you some incentive).

To get you started, here are a few ideas I prepared earlier:

•Thousands Not On Breadline As Banking Crisis Averted

•No Planes Grounded as Storm Fizzles Out!

•Killer Whale Fails to Mutilate Trainer – Family Oblivious

•Paris Hilton Not a Business Genius – Share Market Trades as Usual.

(It strikes me you could have an entire newspaper of such guff. The Non-News of the World, perhaps).

OK. Off you go. I want some laughs with my breakfast tomorrow.

  1. I’m not picking on Mr Cauchi per se – he’s just one of about, oh, a billion people who would make very average bloggers but get paid as journalists. []