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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Standards of the news rapidly declining

By: Jim Hogan
Staff Writer


Toward the end of my summer, I spent over an hour and a half sitting in a dull waiting room at a doctor’s office. It was decorated with the usual magazine rack with dated issues of Sports Illustrated and women’s magazines, a water cooler and the elevator. I was surrounded by the numerous neck braces and human-turtle-shells wrapped around men and women’s torsos. I could feel the aches and pains in the room, which made sitting there even worse.

After a lot of boredom ensued, I noticed a television across the room. FOX News was being televised.

When I do watch the news, FOX is not my first choice. It’s not my second. It’s not even my third.

Anyway, I opted to watch because I was running out of things to do. Political pundits filled the screen and they spoke of the recent events in Syria. I was becoming genuinely interested and felt as though I was being informed the way the news should always inform the general public about what is occurring in the world.

Then, after some time, the “news” shifted gears.

Focus on Syria shifted to the fact that Kate Gosselin, the once famous mother in the former hit show, “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” was suing her ex-husband, Jon Gosselin.  The reason Kate was suing Jon, as the story reported, was because Jon had allegedly hacked Kate’s phone and email.  FOX News anchors spoke about the messy divorce that had taken place prior to this and they continued covering the ongoing, childish he-said-she-said saga.

I was disgusted. I could not get over the absurdity of FOX covering a story like this.  FOX isn’t the only news outlet to cover such stupidity, as most news sources do exactly the same thing. To make matters worse, the one anchor thought it would be funny to begin cracking jokes about Jon and Kate, only to prolong this “news story.” How in the world is Kate Gosselin suing her ex-husband newsworthy?

It really made me wonder though: What is the state of the news in America?  Is the goal to inform, or is it becoming to entertain?

It seems as though celebrities and their antics have become so important to us as a society that it’s the type of thing we need to have filling our television screens.

This summer, while I was serving at a local Italian restaurant, a frequent customer came barging through the front doors proclaiming, “It’s a boy!  It’s a boy!” I had to gather my thoughts and figure out what exactly she was talking about. Of course, it was another Kate!  Only this time it was Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William. She had given birth to a boy—how lovely.

The birth of the royal child, just like Kate Gosselin suing her ex-husband, was not news—or at least I don’t think it should be considered the type of news reported on channels like CNN, FOX and MSNBC. That is the type of TMZ trash that does not have any substance. I couldn’t care less what the sex of the child is or if the royal couple was having a child to begin with or not.

There are more important things occurring in the world right now, every minute of every day, that should be the focus of the news: Like the serious honeybee crisis America is facing, the fact that the War in Iraq has already cost the U.S. over $1 trillion (and it’s continually rising) and the fact that the National Security Agency may be invading our privacy. The list goes on.

Granted, these things are discussed, and have been discussed in the news. But we’re talking about the news here. Isn’t the purpose of the news to inform the public in order to educate its viewers that way we can make rational decisions based on the things we have learned?

I think the media has lost sight of what the purpose of the news is. The goal of the news is not to entertain its audience in order to get the most viewers.

The news feeds its viewers what it wants, but I believe these entertainment-type stories are only what the majority, not everyone in America, wants to hear about. For some reason, some people enjoy hearing about nonsense like Kate Gosselin—otherwise, the media wouldn’t go through with these stories.

The news should not revolve around every single move Johnny Manziel makes off the football field; when and where Miley Cyrus is twerking; Kanye and Kim and North; and, how could I forget, anything Lindsay Lohan.

I just want to be objectively informed by the news.  But I guess that’s too much to ask.


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Standards of the news rapidly declining