The New Definition of News
What is news? It seems these days we are defining it as we go along. The no-brainers have always been along the lines of your city’s local newspaper, your local news channels and national news networks. Magazines frequently qualify as news if articles are well written, thoroughly researched and backed up by an array of quotable experts. We have come to rely upon these sources of news to deliver objective, no nonsense information that we can process and make a part of our the collective ether.
But now we have new players on the board, and not only are there new players in the form of bloggers, vloggers, influencers, and popular Twitter-dwellers, something strange has been happening. The old guard legitimate journalists and media outlets are shape shifting themselves in order to compete with these nouveau bearers of news who are stealing some of the thunder. Over the past five years we have watched 24 hour news networks like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News go from simply reporting the news to commentating on the news with round table and panel opinion pundits. So much so, that you can actually choose your very own echo chamber depending upon what political philosophies you subscribe to, turn on the network that agrees with you, and listen to talking heads spout out opinions that make you feel warm and fuzzy about the world’s events.
But is that really news?
On Yahoo!, you can read news that is sensationalized, slanted and seamlessly weaved in and out of sponsored posts that are clearly promotional in nature. On Twitter, you can see a trending headline of the day with roughly 20,000 (or more) opinion tweets commenting on one tiny grain of news sand until it spins so far and so wide, it becomes hardly recognizable.
So where does that leave us when it comes to consuming news?
News is whatever we want it to be. News is interactive, experiential sound bites that let you know what is going on in the world.
The line between sort blurby announcements, commentary and news is no longer clearly defined.