Whatever Happened to Newspapers?
Once upon a time, newspapers lived up to their name and produced stories and articles that that could called NEWS. Those days are gone.
The modern newspaper bears little resemblance to those of yesteryear and not simply because of the competition from satellite television and the Internet. The main reason why newspaper content has changed dramatically in recent years is the insatiable desire of editors and writers to pander to the whims of a celebrity-mad society. Pick up any mainstream daily newspaper, especially in the United Kingdom, and you will find it is filled with mindless trivia related to celebrities.
Often the front page will include a teaser with some sordid tidbit that is designed to encourage people to buy in order to read all the gory details. It seems the personal lives of soap stars, footballers and others who are famous for being famous, has become the standard fare of many so-called newspapers. Whenever a real newsworthy incident occurs, multiple pages will be dedicated to it but this usually calls for something like the attack on the twin towers on 9/11. Generally though, real news is sacrificed to make way for stories related to Simon Cowell’s botox or Lindsay Lohan’s latest brush with alcohol.
Sadly, many newspapers have become no more than celebrity rags that do anything but present the news. The term newspaper has become a misnomer. As an exercise, take a look through some popular daily newspapers and note the column inches given to genuine news stories compared to those that focus on the activities of celebrities. Perhaps editors have concluded that their readers no longer want to know what’s going on within their country or around the world and somehow want to be shielded from bad news. Whatever the reason, there has been a clear shift away from newsworthy content.
It has always been the case that the daily newspaper is carrying yesterday’s news and this has become even more pronounced with the advent of 24 hour television news and the medium of the Internet. Most people now have the option to catch up on world and local news instantly by turning on the TV or logging on to an Internet news agency. By the time they pick up the next day’s newspaper, they are reading stories that are old hat. So while the newspaper industry attempts to counter this trend, they lean toward things like the celebrity culture to fill their publications.
The days when newspapers informed us are gone. While there are still some reputable publications endeavouring to live up to their reputations as purveyors of news, too many have sacrificed themselves on the altar of celebrity.