What We Call News

air crash in alaskaWhat is news? Tragedies and scary things usually, because that’s what gets peoples attention. But with billions of people to have things go wrong, what gets reported?

The tragedy and bizarre mystery of the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco has had much headline attention. And it was a big plane.

But buried at the bottom of my newspaper’s page 7 was another airplane crash the next day. This one in Alaska. An “air taxi” for people who live in remote places. All ten people on board were killed–five times as many as on the Asiana flight.

But it wasn’t big news.

Not that it had to be. Both incidents were tragic and left families with members killed. And a ten times more people got killed by a runaway train in Quebec than the Alaska crash. The point is not just how many people die. The point is that the media chooses what it considers news. And their choices are largely determined by what they think their viewers and readers will consider newsworthy. We decide what’s news and what’s not. Every time you and I choose to pay attention or to ignore something that some outlet considers news, we ourselves choose what we consider news.

We have to. It’s called filtering. If we don’t, we’ll get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of it all.

So? Good question.

Maybe in the end none of our opinions are important. As much as people like me militate against it, maybe what’s important is our own experiences and relationships. And to look above all that, we know that each incident, each person, is important to God beyond what we have the capacity to know.


Photo Credit:  TheBlaze.com