This week we are going to rewind to May 2008 when Dewey picked one of my favorite Weekly Geeks themes: Political and Social Issues. Since we have many new members to the Weekly Geeks Event, I thought it might be fun to revisit this fantastic theme.Here is how to play:1. Choose a political or social issue that matters to you. If you were a Weekly Geek last May and already did this theme, pick a different theme than the one you did at that time.2. Educate readers about your topic by telling us a little about it and any involvement you've had in this issue.3. Find books addressing your issue; they do not necessarily have to be books you’ve read. They can be non fiction, fiction, poetry, etc...Give a little synopsis of the book or a link to the description.4. Use images which you feel illustrate your topic.
Okay. I had to really think about this one because, shamefully, there's not a lot I feel all that passionate about and I used up most of them when we did this topic last time.
There is, however, one thing. The media.
I work for a newspaper. I like to think we're not a dying breed but in this day and age of instant, worldwide communication, who knows? But that's not my issue.
My issue is what passes for ''news" now. Mainly, how celebrity gossip has somehow become mainstream and is no longer relegated to the likes of Entertainment Tonight and trashy magazines.
The lines have become crossed so often that if they are still there they are almost completely faded. Information about the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus are passed on with the same gravitas as news about the war in Iraq, or the global recession.
They're not news. And while I admit that a small, venal part of me does want to know about what the famous people are doing, I don't want it in the same neighbourhood as my daily news. It waters down and distracts us from what is actually important.
And although I am a very, very small cog in the media wheel, sometimes I am ashamed of my industry. Once, we had integrity. Once, people looked to us for information, balanced news and sound commentary.
But how seriously can we be taken when we breathlessly report on the birth/adoption of the latest celebrity child, or the breakup of the latest celebrity marriage in the same newscast as we hear about global economic meltdown and devastating bushfires?
What happened to our gravitas?
This one, to me, sounds the most interesting: