Jan 09

Sometimes You Want To Watch The Olds

FT6 comments • 614 views

I have been watching the news coverage of the current mess in Gaza with a slightly detached air. Not because it isn’t shocking (I work with a Palestinian and so get better, personal coverage from him). But more with an eye on the ticking clock of news. Its been going on for ten days now after all, and soon the relentless banality of a conflict with no end in sight will start dropping down the news agenda. Today the interest rate cut will probably unsettle it though Lebanese rockets may change that. If it is still on going (which I hope not) I imagine it will not even pop up on the news by the time Obama’s inaugeration comes around.

This is the problem inherent with rolling news, and with the constantly voracious news agenda. It could be that Israel’s micro-management of the conflict will keep the news organisations more involved, waiting to see who they can get in to Gaza to report. But Afghanistan pootled along for a while without troubling the top of the news, and in no way is the humanitarian crisis Darfur done and dusted. I don’t expect TV news to necessarily have a new package from these war zones daily, but it does strike me that current technology (and a jigging of the presentation) does offer oopportuinities to remind us that these places are still on the news agenda.

Firstly the news ticker. Scrolling away merrily on the bottom of our screens is a slow screed telling us the news we might of missed or might come up. It will all trun up in the nest twenty minutes. Well how about a news ticker for news that will not turn up. Have the fast news ticker at the bottom, the slow news ticker at the top.

Or even better what about in the space behind the news reader, slip in a colour coded board as to global conflict which are still active, perhaps with bringhtness corresponding to how deadly they have been that day. I am sure the bloke who used to make Blue Peter Charity Appeal Totalisers could make something tasteful and yet vital. And then the job is done. People are reminded, can look online for more information and take back their own news management.

Even better they could use the sofa in BBC Breakfast Adverts For BBC Programmes, sorry, I mean BBC Breakfast News, to remind us that real news is going on, not just the new series of Holby Blue. And they could have some sort of warning device as to just how trivial the various segments are.


  1. 1
    SteveM on 8 Jan 2009 #

    How about bad news at the top, good news at the bottom?

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 8 Jan 2009 #

    what about local news? down the side?

  3. 3
    Pete Baran on 9 Jan 2009 #

    I favour perma-ink tattoos on Newsreaders heads with their names on, or “Titter Ye Not” for serious stories.

    To be fair watch BBC Breakfast this morning it would never get off of the BBC Advertising sign.

  4. 4
    Tommy Mack on 9 Jan 2009 #

    BBC Breakfast News is barely watchable. It comes to something when you have to turn to Murdoch because the state broadcaster concentrates on human interest stories about, I dunno, a goose wearing a funny hat in Bishop Stortford or some such.

  5. 5
    lonepilgrim on 9 Jan 2009 #

    re #4 now I want to see the goose story

  6. 6
    Ian More on 9 Jan 2009 #

    One thing about internet news is that it becomes much easier to focus on the world conflicts you are interested in, even if the media is not that pushed about reporting them. I haven’t really explored Googlenews (or whatever they call it), but I wonder if the future is long tail news and people competing to find the most esoteric conflict to get excited about.

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