When did news become entertainment?

  • This a sister thread to this one which is about "pre" news:


    No new news


    In West London yesterday was that terrible fire in the tower block, thread about it here:


    London Tower Block Fire. Lots killed.


    A bit like Morgan's groundhog day in the first post of the other thread, I felt exactly the same yesterday and I haven't even turned on the television yet which will still be dominated by this fire. But, after the initial reporting, where is the news?


    I watched the news for about 10-15 minutes yesterday morning and that was plenty, then after 5 more minutes of exactly the same thing in the evening, I felt I'd had "my fill" of the story. Why is the same thing repeated, over and over again?


    All this repeating the same thing over and over again seemed to have started when 24 hour news channels launched and that is also when news started to become entertainment, in my opinion.


    Sky News launched in 1989 with pop music style jingles right before the news started and slogans like "news on the hour, every hour." But do we actually get news on the hour and every other, and does it need to be set to pop music or headlines prefaced with drum beats to add extra drama to the news.


    I switched off the news yesterday (I was eating runner beans and I didn't want to choke) when the news changed to showing the people who were trapped in the fire calling out for help and switching their lights on and off. I am sure had I kept the news on, it would've gone on to "report" with glee that these pour souls who were trapped would've almost certainly have been killed. And if I had been watching on Sky News, I am sure Kay Burley would've popped up and found some of the relatives of the people killed and asked them "how they felt" ensuring the camera was zoomed in on their faces for added effect.


    I suppose we have always relished bad news, it sells newspapers as it did when Jack the Ripper was around. Papers sold like hotcakes then and the country soaked up ever sordid detail of his murdering rampage. But, we didn't have 24 news channels, headlines set to drum beats, or instrumental or pop music played throughout the news items.


    When did the suffering of others became entertainment? When did news become entertainment?

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  • News has become more about soundbite snappy headlines and the reporters opinion and telling viewers how they should feel about the news rather than just reporting whats happening, as for when it started probably with the introduction of dedicated 24 hour news channels rather than news just broadcast at set times like it was in the past.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • You've missed the teddy bears and candles and heaps of flowers. I saw a huge teddy sitting mournfully on the edge of the pavement and I wondered how many poor children never had one like that. It reminds me of ancient ceremonies where accoutrements for the afterlife of the departed were left in the tombs of monarchs and officials.


    There is also a new thing where reports speak of casualties as "ill". They are not ill they are injured. There is a big difference. X number of people killed in the fire and X number are "critically ill" in hospital. They are not critically ill. When did this illiterate error become part of reportage?

  • I like to keep up to date with the news but I do agree that half an hour or more devoted to one subject without even a mention of what else is going on in the rest of the world for days at a time is ridiculous.

    I can understand that when these things first happen there is a case for full information but after that, 15 minutes should be enough time to cover the subject.

  • I just turn off after a few minutes, especially when after the actual factual news we have to have weepy interviews with all and sundry about how it affects them. This is NOT news. Of course the politically correct bit about Muslims helping out has to be thrown into the mix.:rolleyes:


    Then there's the blame culture: Somebody must be made responsible and Labour saying it's the result of the horrid baby eating Tory cuts.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • You've missed the teddy bears and candles and heaps of flowers.

    I never got to that bit of the news, it was switched off before then.

    There is also a new thing where reports speak of casualties as "ill". They are not ill they are injured. There is a big difference. X number of people killed in the fire and X number are "critically ill" in hospital. They are not critically ill. When did this illiterate error become part of reportage?

    I agree.


    Having dealt with a critically ill person intensively for over 3 years (and over 10 years of being ill, then very ill) without out a day's break, let alone any respite, I certainly understand the difference. It annoys me and my command of English, as anyone who reads my posts would know, is poor, but I'm not a journalist.

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  • I like to keep up to date with the news but I do agree that half an hour or more devoted to one subject without even a mention of what else is going on in the rest of the world for days at a time is ridiculous.

    I can understand that when these things first happen there is a case for full information but after that, 15 minutes should be enough time to cover the subject.

    Because I've been so busy with the forum and other things, I've missed many of the major stories, ie that dreadful explosion in Kabul killing hundreds or the ongoing Qatar "thing", actually I must create a thread about that.

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  • I just turn off after a few minutes, especially when after the actual factual news we have to have weepy interviews with all and sundry about how it affects them. This is NOT news. Of course the politically correct bit about Muslims helping out has to be thrown into the mix.:rolleyes:


    Then there's the blame culture: Somebody must be made responsible and Labour saying it's the result of the horrid baby eating Tory cuts.

    Could create several threads on each one of those points, but taking the last point first.


    Did anyone see Good Morning Britain yesterday? Pure trial by television.


    Piers (I was never involved in phone hacking...) Morgan crucified the director of the company that did the cladding on the London tower block that caught fire. He absolutely let rip on him. But until the facts are known, there is no blame. But the media wanted a target, actually they got more than one, and the cladding company is in their crosshairs for blame. Always has to be blame.


    The politically correct bit is nauseating. I won't say too much else about this now, as I'm sure we'll revisit the subject elsewhere, but we are forcibly being fed a diet of lets be tolerant and love everyone by the media and political elite. I prefer honesty, than PC. If someone wants to be intolerant, I would rather know that and can address it or not, rather than being forced into "we are all one people" "lets hug teddy bears" (sounding like LW again) and not really knowing what people think.


    On the first point, the actual news may only last a few minutes. I wish we could have "news" programmes that gave you the news, the facts, the headlines, then have all the other guff come after it.


    Some journalists are very experienced and do give very useful background information and analysis on stories, but it's all mixed in together. I would separate the news, the facts, from everything else.

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  • I can't see any point in blaming the manufacturers of the cladding. As far as I can gather they made two types. One plastic filled, one mineral filled which was safer. The contractors bought the cheaper one. There is a report in the Mail ( Which I can't confirm as yet.) that the safer one cost £2 per panel more and for additional £5,000 that could have been installed. If it's true, it's another case of profits before people.

  • There also seems to be an issue regarding the installation of the cladding in that there should have been fire-breaks between windows and floors. There is some doubt whether these were correctly installed if at all.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Did the plastic cladding melt or burn with ferocious intensity? The pictures of the building on fire look, to me, as though the fire spread through a space threaded with inflammable substances unrelated to plastic. The panels of the outside of the building just look melted and black. They still had their designs on them by the look of it.The building itself has huge tongues of flame leaping out of it in places as though it had an explosive substance to help it along.

  • News has been entertainment for a long time. So has politics, and so has work.


    Strangely I wonder whether this is partly the reason why the fire happened. I saw the chap on Sky News talking about cladding. All very interesting then but would it have been 24 hours earlier? No. He had a steady and rather monotonous tone of voice and was talking rationally and factually based on significant experience. No one likes that kind of thing any more. You've got to grab the audience in the first minute or so. You've got to have a punchy memorable presentation style. Throw in a few amusing anecdotes and engage your audience if you really want to get your point across. Facts? Ok if you have to but keep them brief and try to present them in an exciting way.


    Not everything can or perhaps should be fun, is it beyond people to have a balance in life?

  • I think today people want a thrill, Hox. If it lags on the thrill factor or the "OMG" scale then it isn't considered worthy.


    The sign of a decidedly dumbed down public. But then it's a paying public, the givers of thrills tend to have to play to the receivers, and if the receivers are not impressed the receivers pay them with shunning.


    I live in hope of a more intelligent world and in order for that to happen I also have to live in hope of a more intelligent average human. (You may wish me luck with this, because I'm going to need it.)

  • I've hoped for it but I think I'll stop now. It's not just politicians that get on my nerves, actually some have been remarkably sane (e.g. that Hammond chappy saying it's either poor regulations or poor compliance with regulations), but the media and general public. Once that happens it's time to give up with people and just look after yourself.

  • I did that some time ago for a similar reason. People are mostly incomprehensible and when in situations where they might be able to do something positive, they tend to go mass mania and sink the ship. I don't know what is wrong with humans, as there is a faction of intelligent self-direction among them, but as a rule, no matter where they have manifested themselves, they have managed to stuff up their civilizations.

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