Hundreds of millions of words every day. Newspapers, news channels, blogs, radio shows, newsletters, newscasts…a multitude of media daily working to inform us of the state of our world, the reality of the world, at any given moment. On the whole, having the luxury of information in such an extent, has never been more common. Knowledge is no longer a purpose, information and the linkage of those information has become a tradable commodity, and the famous quote that read “knowledge is power”, has now transformed to “information is money…and power”.
Let us stop for a second. Let us analyze a bit the form of information that the news industry is so desperately trying to channel to the people, some would argue that it is a frivolous task, but our reality of the world is based on it.
What is news? How can something become newsworthy? Is the fact that John, a construction worker from Manchester, hasn’t had any accident in the past 35 years of his work, worthy of becoming news? The answer is simple, no. But why? Think about it…it is much more common for people not to have accidents than to have one, yet, turn on your TV to any channel, browse through your newspaper, and I am sure that you will find no mention of the simple fact that John is still safe from harm for the last 35 years. Not having an accident is unbelievably more common than having one, so in essence, our reality should be that we’re actually doing great, pretty healthy and all. But its not newsworthy. News editors cannot simply start writing about the jewelry that were not stolen, or the famous marriages that still survive divorce, or celebrate the fact that there’s much more peace, than there is war, or that John has finally retired, accident free. However concerned our noble news correspondents are in their efforts to describe the state of things in the world today, they are only concerned with the minority.
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that things are good. Things are not good. Things are pretty far from being good in the world today. But our perception of the world, is based on the information we gather about its current state, our reality is based on this perception…and this reality is wearing blinkers.