round and round...

Friday, May 30, 2008

I don't get it

3 hours have passed since it began. It's been non-stop. The news coverage, I mean.

I had just gotten back from Duke's morning walk when I turned on the TV. I tuned into TLC because that is one of my go-to channels and since this is my last weekday of time off before I start my new job on Monday I'm taking full advantage of daytime television. A rerun of A Baby Story was on, which means I was riveted from the first moment. Babies get me.

I decided to flip to the Today Show during a commercial and got up to make myself a latte. (Have I mentioned how great it is to get married and have people buy you amazing kitchen gadgets??) Halfway through pulling my espresso shot I heard the telltale chimes of a breaking news story cutting into the Today Show broadcast.

Grave situation, surely. A crane collapsed way uptown and crashed into a new-construction high-rise apartment building (as if we need another high-rise in this city), damaging it all the way down until it fell to the street. One person was killed (the crane operator - poor woman), 2 injured (construction workers), it's obviously a very sad story. This is the second crane collapse in NYC this year. The previous one was at a Trump building in mid-town and I believe there were fatalities in that accident, as well. It's a bad situation.

But let me ask this - does it warrant 3 hours of emergency news coverage? I'm not saying this because I'm dying to see what Hoda & Cathie Lee are talking about now, but because it's been 3 hours of the same images over and over, 3 hours of the same video footage on a loop, 3 hours of the same updates about the 2 injured workers' serious conditions, 3 hours of press conferences where city officials offer no new information and instead talk about how details will be forthcoming.

3 hours! I don't get it. I don't want to downplay the damage to the buildings or, far more importantly, the death of the operator or the injuries of the workers, but how much constant news coverage is enough? I hate to take emphasis away from these poor peoples' situations, but there are people who die every day in this city who don't get any coverage at all. How about the homeless guys who died at the shelter last night anonymously? The elderly woman who was found dead in her apartment weeks after she died because no one had visited her recently? What about the 20 animals that were put to death by NYCACC yesterday because they weren't adopted? There is no special coverage for them. They don't receive a headline. Why not? Because a handful of streets didn't need to be temporarily closed when they died? Is that what it takes to get people in this city to pay attention? Close a few streets? Inconvenience some Upper East Siders?

5 What people are saying:

Blogger Lynilu rambles...

I agree 100%, We are so "news infused" that it makes me nauseous! I don't watch news often, usually just enough to get an idea of the weather to expect, a few headlines, and I'm outta there. I kinda liked the world I grew up in, where we heard things two days later and went,"Well, son of a gun," and went on with life.

5/30/2008 12:32:00 PM

Anonymous James B. rambles...

Melissa, as my grandma would say, "preach!" Seriously, as a member of the media that sort of coverage embarasses me. Yes, the crane collapse was serious and tragic and it points to what could be a growing problem with construction site inspections. But the three-plus hours of broadcast footage was nothing more than gratuitous. I used to say we weren't that bad in the print news side of things. But now that we've started using the Web to compete with TV, I fear we're falling more into that sensationalist trap too.

5/30/2008 03:01:00 PM

Anonymous James B. rambles...

BTW, I forgot to mention, we're bringing back "Ask James Anything Friday."

I told my overlords it'd be funny, and we'd get lots of response. So come on over and post a question. I've given myself till Sunday to get 50 questions. So tell a blog friend or two or 10 if you want. They're welcome to come by and post questions too. Remember the rules are there are no rules. You can ask anything about anything. And I will answer 'em all. Have fun with it!

5/30/2008 03:04:00 PM

Blogger Sandra rambles...

I've always been baffled by what gets the non-stop news coverage and what doesn't. Remember OJ and his slow-speed chase? Nope, don't get it.

5/30/2008 06:42:00 PM

Blogger Claire Joy rambles...

I hear you. But...
Turn off the damn TV.
Read a book.
In honor of my d-i-l, a banned book :)

5/31/2008 10:10:00 PM


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