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Opinion: Forget fake; Pointless news takes hold

From The Register-Herald of Beckley:

We have all heard about fake news. Like it nor not, it is not going away anytime soon – and it isn’t alone in it’s journey.

The news has earned an important place in every family’s homes throughout the years. For some, it is their only entertainment, but for others, the news is cringeworthy – but they still rely on it. It has constantly been read and watched, and the reasons are simple: to be more educated on a particular topic, to know what is happening in the world – near and far – and to simply make one’s family happy.

The big reason is to be informed.

With the new wave of media rushing in, entertaining is the new form of informing.

Let’s set the scene:

It is Monday night, and a perfect day to watch the news. The political world seems to be booming with new scandals and failed bills, the community’s most loved store is going out of business and the world seems to be designing more nuclear weapons with every minute. With all this, one would think that the news would overflow with new discoveries and questions everyday. But that isn’t the case.

In fact, instead of seeing stories of modern day revolution and misery on the screen, we find a dog with a heart-shaped spot taking over ta breaking TV news segment.

Now, the nights that have always been filled with news are filled with pointless stories aimed to entertain. The bad part? Sometimes, these stories are becoming the norm.

Forget fake news. Pointless news is taking over, and it is stronger than ever.

I may be wrong. Maybe this is greatest time to be a journalist because of the freedom to do almost anything – such as the freedom to write about cute puppies and fluffy kittens.

Admit it. Sometimes it is a relief to see the dog on the news in the place of the images and stories of war horrors. Or sometimes it is entertaining to wittness famous people bash each other during interviews while the rest of the world seems to be stressing. But no one can call it news. Still yet, it should not be expected. Thanks to social media, these small, cute stories are growing in power, while important stories are getting lost in the rubble.

Somehow, maybe this new wave of journalism is comfort food for times of fear and disaster. We need to see the things of the world that make it seem a little more kind and a lot happier. Maybe, it is just a phase. We cannot be fooled into thinking everything is magically filled with everything cute.

In the end, we all need to see a puppy or kitten occasionally. If they all seemed to disappear from media completely, the world might end. But would we even know the world was ending? No one seems to care about real news anymore.

In twenty years, dogs will be trained for journalism, giving the news and making people smile. Best of both worlds? The perfect solution.

NOTE: Guest columnist Hannah Grace Morgan is a 2017 graduate of Westside High School in Wyoming County. She plans to study journalism in college. She can be reached via email at [email protected].

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