Nothing but…

I subscribe to a number of email newsletters which provides a good overview of the news. I get links to great pieces and can see at a glance what’s happening in the world. I find they give me the best articles (mostly US & UK) and news in a digest form. One of those emails was today a really interesting insight into why the news is FULL of just three stories all interconnected. You should subscribe too. This is from John Ellis.

“A number of subscribers have emailed to say that News Items is too “depressing” and that it should include more “positive news.”

I agree with that. I just can’t find much positive news at the moment.

What’s happening in the news business these days is unlike anything I’ve seen in my lifetime. There have been huge stories before — the collapse of the Soviet Union, 9/11, the Afghanistan/Iraq wars, the Great Financial Crisis (to name four) — that soaked up every available journalistic resource and pushed all other news off the radar.

But there have never been three huge news stories — the pandemic, the overnight cave-in of the global economy and a nail-biting financial crisis — all at once. If you’re the editor of the Financial Times or The Wall Street Journal or The Times of London, you throw every available resource at those three stories and worry about the rest of it later.

An example of how this works came last Wednesday. Joe Biden basically locked up the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination last Tuesday with wins over Bernie Sanders in Illinois, Missouri and Arizona. He was the top story on the Politico home page for about 7 minutes. Regularly scheduled programming (coronavirus, financial markets, businesses burning through lines of credit, etc.) resumed more or less immediately thereafter. Put another way, Joe Biden scaled one of the pinnacles of American politics and no one in the news business cared.

One of the things I’ve tried to do with News Items is bring to your attention news stories, research reports and analytical pieces that you might otherwise miss but that are interesting or important or both. The sources for this kind of information are far and wide; science journals, think tanks, blogs, technology sites, book reviews, Wall Street research reports, etcetera, etcetera.

What’s unusual about the present moment is that virtually all of those “far and wide” sources are focused on the same three subjects everyone else is focused on. There is no escaping the three-headed beast.

In the midst of the bad news, there is one story that will emerge as one of the great stories of our time. That story is the extraordinary and unprecedented team effort to find a “cure” for Covid-19 and/or a vaccine that renders it “manageable” if not moot.

Three things — the Internet, super-computing and Artificial Intelligence — have combined with a small army of brilliant scientists from nations in virtually every time zone to accelerate the process of experimentation and discovery to a level that would have been unthinkable ten or even five years ago.

What we are watching is an on-the-fly, all-hands-on-deck virological Manhattan Project. It is an amazing and heroic effort. It’s not getting the attention it deserves because the scientists involved don’t really have time to talk to reporters; they’re working around the clock and racing against the clock.

But their story is the story. And it’s not depressing. It’s thrilling.”

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One Thought to “Nothing but…”

  1. Samantha McLoughlin

    Well put pastor!

    Of course one is going to get non stop news that way. At least here it is because the ‘news’ that people really want to know about and should know about is overshadowed by hype.

    No one gave much notice to Biden winning, because, no one really cares. He can’t even remember what he’s talking about when he speaks! Like the example of ‘global warming’ and how he’s going to make the whole world work on it according to his plan… the man has no plan. Really? the man is a banana short of a bunch! The question he was supposed to be answering wasn’t even related to global warming! Do you really think if this was a good win for the dems, that they would not have pushed it to the forefront of the news? Of course they would.

    And yes, the financial crisis.. It is in full swing but, it will recover. It might take a while, but it will recover. We’ve seen it
    in past history. The news media is causing people to become afraid of something that at the moment does not exist. At least to the extent that they are speaking about. Not totally anyway. There is some truth to what is being said, but it is mixed in with a lot of hype. And you cannot see the forest for the trees.

    Its like the guy at the grocery store. Grabbing every bag of rice he could find and when asked by another shopper if she could have one because she has five kids and that would go a long way for them, he said no! Take it and I”ll shoot you! The man has been inundated with a lot of hype and is scared to death he is going to be left with no food. Not realizing that that kind of action brings on the results he fears most! But you won’t hear that on the news… no sir!

    The pandemic is no wider spread than the flu albeit there is a complication w lung issues that make it a bit worse for certain people. How many people just have the flu vs this virus? No one is keeping track of that. No one knows how many deaths are specifically from this virus or a flu…
    Thousands die each year from flu complications and sometimes schools are closed for lack of students or teachers because of the flu. Does that ever make the news? Not really, except for someone saying ‘the flu is really going around, wash your hands,and don’t cough on people. Don’t go to work if you are sick.” This year alone in the United States there have been 3000 deaths from flu complications… That has not made the news yet.

    I think if people just stop listening to the news for a while, they may relax a bit and begin to act normally again which will certainly have an impact in many areas and businesses. As well as the run on toilet paper! If the ‘news’ outlets would actually just speak about facts and not hype things up, I think we’d be better off, but one news media has to up the other till all fact is washed into oblivion and the truth is no more. Just “run and get your toilet paper before you have to start wiping with corn husks!

    First and foremost we need to know that God is in control. Many people may not feel like that is the way it is, but it is that way!
    He never slumbers or sleeps, he knows exactly what is going on. I was thinking the other day, maybe he is using this as a ‘bigger’ wake up call. Not only for those who are lost spiritually but those who claim to be Christ followers as well!
    It has sure shaken many up to begin to realize they were serving the wrong master even though they felt they were doing ‘good’.

    Yes, putting ‘good news’ on the news on tv or in the papers would help to even out the hype. But, that isn’t as fascinating as seeing people run around like they have no sense at all and you (the media) feeling so powerful at that point.
    When you can make waves, why throw out life jackets? Waves are much more fun to watch…
    They keep one coming back in hopes that you actually do throw out a life jacket. Its good marketing (at least the news media thinks so!


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