Moment of Zen – plea for sanity

9 Sep

A call to social science researchers:

In last night’s “moment of zen”, the daily showed a snippit of mainstream (comedic by accident, as opposed to by design) news in which they played one of those get-the-mobile-generation-involved, text-your-vote-for-the-best-story bits.  Viewers were shown three news clips and given the power to select their favorite via text.

The candidate news stories:

1 rhino rescue – genetic technology used to aid an endangered species,

2 Japan energy crisis – a story of energy issues in Japan after nuclear melt down,

3 gumby robber – a person dressed in a green felt gumby suit is caught on security camera robbing a convenience store.

Yes, that’s right, a petty robbery perpetrated by a person dressed as a by-gone cartoon could be absolutely as important (to the American people) as international energy issues or wildlife conservation.  Only the news-viewing, texting public can decide.

So, my plea to the sociologists out there – I hope someone is recording these sorts of text-based decisions, charting them over time, and recording the implications for our collective conscious.  We probably can’t deny that it’s more fun to watch silly-costumed mischief than to think about serious issues facing the larger global society – but we may as well learn something from the trends.

[Confession of bias – I am a radio news person.  I get most of my news from community radio (wahoo WORT 89.9fm) and NPR.  The entirety of my TV news comes from the occasional CNN if plugged in to a gym machine; or, more likely, the Daily Show.  So, full disclosure, my views on most of cable TV are colored by what Jon Stewart deems suitable.]


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