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What Makes News News?

I was browsing the Boston Globe on-line this morning and found the following headlines: “Nearly 100 pigs run riot on highway“, “‘Boots’ takes gold at the Ferret Olympics“, “Kids plus rocks equals 120,000 angry bees“.

In disgust, I had to check out other newspapers to see if their headlines were just as bad:

New York Times: “Religion Experts Ask How Jesus Would Vote“, “Bear Drinks 36 Cans of Favorite Beer“.

Weekly World News: “ALIENS CLAIM JACKO IS THEIR SON “, “NASA BUILDS WORLD’S BIGGEST PAPER AIRPLANE” (I liked how when I copy/pasted the headlines from this paper’s articles the font appeared in all capital letters…as if to make the point that these things are that much more newsworthy).

Is there really any real difference between these there newspapers? Granted, these weren’t front page articles (most came from the Associated Press and were posted on the Globe and Times sites). But still…ferret olympics? Beer-drinking bears?

Then again, I suppose my blog is a sort of news posting site. I mean, I don’t know how it appears to readers, but when I update my blog, the button I click to do so is called “Create News Item”. Looking back at some of my own blog/news headlines, I guess I’m just as guilty as they are.

But I have to sensationalize…I have no corporate sponsors!


  1. Comment by chrispy on August 18, 2004 12:40 pm

    “ancient sea monster discovered near morden”

  2. Comment by Underling on August 18, 2004 6:24 pm

    A long time ago I abandoned print journalism, with the exception of The Economist and Mother Jones. Then I cut out all local news broadcasts. I know receive my news and information from a variety of internet sites written by conspiracy theorists…(haha)

    I become so angry looking at the newspapers and seeing the news…the crap they put out there as news…

  3. Comment by matt on August 18, 2004 11:27 pm

    Wow — kind of sad to discover that our major newspapers are carrying headlines as silly as that Weekly World News rag that shows computer-created pictures of Sadam with Jesus! lol!

  4. Comment by Will on August 20, 2004 7:36 am

    Another trend that infuriates me is when the news anchors editorialize after reading an item. It strikes me as the antithesis of what should be going on during a serious news program. The Channel 4 morning news is especially bad this way with Kerry Connolly giving her vapid, bourgeoius opinions non-stop.

  5. Comment by claudette lacasse on September 29, 2004 1:07 pm

    I just want to know what happened to host kerry connolly on channel 4

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