Is There Such a Thing As News?

All news is marketing, if your business depends on it. When a tree is cut down and a new tree is planted, that is news; if someone sells his car and wants you to buy it because of the “experts” who say so, that’s news too. If the government shuts down because of some “scandals” in the legislature, that’s also news. No one really cares about the scandals, because no one is buying newspapers because of them. All they care about is making money!

All news is marketing, if you think that is a bit harsh. For instance, a recent article in the New York Times stated: “New Delhi, the city of temples and monuments, is teeming with consumerism.” Not only is objectivity dead in the human interest departments of most newspapers, but many journalists don’t even have a basic knowledge of the types of products or services they write about. The result is often “so-called consumer advice” that make their job easier, but is completely ineffective in helping customers make good buying decisions. And if you believe the sales managers at the newspapers, you will get virtually no help from them in fixing the problems, because all they want to do is make more money.

News is important, but it has to be “journalism” in the truest sense of the word, and not self-serving marketing. A true journalist takes responsibility for getting the information to the public in a timely and accurate manner, and then educating the public about the news they cover. The objectivity of news reporting is important, but the reader is the final arbiter of what is news and what isn’t. The final word in whether a story is important relevant, or not-and the only person who can put that word into action-is the person who reads it.