Journalism Deserves Better (5/21/09)
Among many things we learned from the tragic events of 9/11 is this:
When it really got down to what was important, the world didn't really care all that much about Gary Condit and Chandra Levy.
If you recall, the Condit-Levy story was taking up huge hunks of time on every newscast in the days leading up to 9/11. But once the nation had something really significant to focus on, stories with such little relevance to our actual lives were rightfully tossed aside.
But now, we're back to a world in which people - including supposed journalists - are again wasting their time and ours on such lightweight stories as the sleazy Drew Peterson saga, the Odyssey of the Octomom, the morbid Farrah Fawcett Death Watch and the Young Motherhood and High School Graduation of Bristol Palin.
Sure these stories deserve some coverage. But the obscene amount of around-the-clock attention they've been attracting?
No way. And the only reason they're getting it is because they're easy. It's always easier to attract people with sensationalism than with substance. And it's also easier to just write another daily rehash of the same story over and over than to engage in real journalism.
It's a shame to squander a wonderful gift such as a free press on such fluff. I only hope it doesn't take another mega-disaster to teach us that lesson once more.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.