Why everyone needs to know the news

Essay by tanya55 April 2007

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It's a Sunday. We are in the newsroom trying to tackle the overwhelming flow of news in this Information Age. This is how: we start by staring at each other's faces (perhaps trying to see if anyone has a clue about what can be news), we are desperately looking at all the news agencies for scraps of news, we drink cups and cups of tea hoping that something will happen somewhere in the world.

Newspersons are like vultures, a collogue said. True. You can feel their eyes prying at everything that they believe is potentially newsworthy. And the moment it happens (sometimes, even before it happens) they pounce on their prey and tear it into pieces.

Therefore, a typical newsroom is like the calm before the storm. It is quiet. Calm. We are all working in peace, punching information into the computer, completely oblivious to the world outside. And suddenly, a phone rings.

In seconds, we are all screaming, staring at the other channels and looking at all the wires (news agencies) and literally running around in the newsroom. Only few know what they are doing, though.

This process slows down further on Sundays. Why, we say. Why does nothing happen on Sundays? The whole world seems to be on a holiday. Except for the newspersons. Trying to wait for the news that does not seem to be happening.

It's crazy, this news business. We insist on giving news 24 hours, irrespective of whether there are takers for it. We insist on giving news all day, irrespective of whether there is so much news or not. And we insist on sticking to our definitions of news, irrespective of how narrow the definitions are. This defeats all the classical principles of economics. There is supply without much...