So Jackson And Fawcett Died Yesterday

As I watched the tragic news about the deaths of two American icons yesterday – one for being a 70’s sex symbol and the absolute epitome of a blond stereotype, and the other for being a pop music groundbreaker and a complete character of himself – I saw every news program, every news web site, every news person leading with the story. The story of two entertainers, both of whom created some version of art, but entertainers none-the-less who ‘suddenly’ passed away.

I have been wondering more and more the role and responsibility of the media, and their obligation to cover what is news and what isn’t news. While nearly anything (and certainly public persons’ deaths are) qualifies as news; I feel like the mainstream media has lost it’s way with the importance of these stories. And I have long searched outside of the mainstream for my news, but I now wonder how to keep Ezra on track with what is important versus what is superficial (don’t worry, he won’t be inundated with the importance of news for at least another couple of weeks). Example from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: ‘we must now take a break from the Michael Jackson story for a moment and take a quick look at what is going on with the economy and the war in Iraq.’ ~sigh~

To be fair, it’s not just the news companies that are leaning in this direction – it’s also us…I just read a story about how due to web traffic yesterday the TMZ site crashed, Twitter’s search engine was overwhelmed and became disabled, ABC News’ site only had 11% availability, Google had glitches, and Facebook status updates were through the roof.

So while everyone looked in the direction of the deaths of an actress and a singer yesterday, 33,000 children died of poverty worldwide, just shy of 5500 people died of AIDS in Africa, and more than 6000 people filed for bankruptcy in the US. The question:How do we stay focused on the real issues? The Answer: it’s our responsibility. And your 6pm local news ain’t going to get it done.

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