Thursday, December 20, 2007

What's newsworthy?

The AP listed the Top Ten news stories of 2007 today [listed below].
Anna Nicole Smith's death finished "in 32nd place ahead of such stories as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the departure of Tony Blair as British prime minister, and the military crackdown in Myanmar."

"Anyone who picks the Anna Nicole Smith story in the Top Ten should be beaten with sticks," commented Mike Bailey, managing editor of The Courier News in Elgin, Ill.

I laughed when I read that.
But what makes the #1 story--the Virginia Tech killings--substantively all that more significant than ANS's death?
They are both indicative of America's craze for sick celebrities who don't do anything constructive (or even anything at all) and for the voyeuristic titillation, playing on death's power to call up a kind of lust, that passes as news.

The mass killing that finally leads to banning guns--there's the #1 story I'm waiting for.

AP's Top Ten
1. VA Tech killings
2. mortgage crisis
3. Iraq War
4. oil prices
5. Chinese exports
6. global warming
7. bridge collapse
8. presidential campaign
9. immigration debate
10. Iran's nuclear program

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