Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2016 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

News, as a service, is dead

4 May 2016

Part of my daily routine for as long as I can remember has been to scan the newswires of the world from my computer keyboard.

The Net is a fantastic vehicle for the rapid dissemination of news and information and has changed the face of the fourth estate in a way that I suspect nobody could have even remotely imagined just a few short decades ago.

This morning however, two of New Zealand's leading news sites effectively proved themselves unworthy of any title which includes the word "news".

It's bad enough that television lost its way in respect to news reporting some time ago and opted instead to go the way of "reality" shows -- but now it seems that we can't escape this trend even in print.

The NZ Herald website carried this story just two from the top of its front page and over at Stuff, this piece was flagged as "most viewed".

Now part of me says "well obviously, these publications are simply catering for public demand". However, another part of me says "oh my gawd, they've dumbed down the public to such an extent that *this* is the result!".

Now as someone who hasn't watched a single minute of broadcast TV in almost eight years, I have no idea what "The Bachelor" is about but, after reading these stories I can pretty much get the drift that it's reality TV of the most appalling type.

Any programme where one contestant is invited to "sleep over" with another in order to effectively "score points" is (in my own opinion) shallow on so many levels!

I recall that when TV was first rolled out, its proponents proudly claimed that it would usher in a new era of education -- bringing informative and worthy stuff right into your living room.

The same claims were made for the Internet. The Net has the power to connect people with learning resources and information in a way that we have never seen before.

Sadly, programmes like "The Bachelor" seem to indicate that both mediums have effectively been dumbed-down to the extent that viewers/users are now treated like idiots -- and deservedly so.

You think I'm wrong?

Well look what else is making "headlines" in our news media:

Groan!

Meanwhile, the really important stuff is buried deep down the page.

Even the stuff that is purported to be "news" is often riddled with mistakes, misinformation and hype. One only has to look at the endless stream of stories about drones "just missing" airliners to see this. The latest of these stories appears to have been an almost total fabrication by the media. I went public with my belief that this was just a load of bullshirt many days before it was finally revealed that no drone was involved at all and that the likely culprit was a plastic supermarket bag, dragged into the air by winds.

Tragic, just tragic.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Previous Columns

But it just works
There can be few petrol-heads who haven't heard of and lusted after one of the supercars made by McLaren...

An FBI SWAT team at your door
We all know that the power of the internet has no respect for geographical borders...

In for a (tax-free) penny...
In the wake of the leak of the Panama Papers, New Zealand has been identified as a bit of a tax haven-ish country that, by way of its foreign trust system, potentially allows foreigners (and locals) to dodge a bit of tax if they want...

US authorities stomp on the constitution (again)
There was a time when you could actually believe the branding the USA gave itself...

Amazon Kindle, no Oasis of sanity
I like books. Actually, I *love* books...

Netflix, the winner
Nothing lasts forever, absolutely nothing at all...

Explaining the impossible
The most exciting moments in science come when we observe a phenomenon for which we have no explanation...

The great water fiasco
Clean, pure water is one of New Zealand's most valuable (and rapidly dwindling) assets...

Proof that carbon credits are a joke
I shuddered when the bureaucrats of the world first came up with the idea of carbon credits as a method of supposedly addressing the issue of climate change...

Two sets of copyright laws?
There was a very interesting court ruling in the USA this week...

Drone hits airliner in UK, 137 not dead
Experts have been claiming that it was going to happen sooner or later...