The News

Laura K. Silver is a trustee of the Jewish Light who writes a blog for the paper’s website (stljewishlight.com/laura).  She owns The Paper Trail of St. Louis, a financial and legal concierge service. She is the mother of two elementary school-age children.

By Laura K. Silver

I have a problem with the way that our country covers “The News.”Ever since CNN turned the news into a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week program, things have gotten out of hand.

Media coverage sensationalizes individual people — from Casey Anthony to George Zimmerman — giving them status as celebrities.Are we better off in a world that gives these people far greater attention than they deserve?

We spend time a lot of our time worrying about copycats.Would we be so concerned if the media didn’t sensationalize these people?From James Holmes to Richard Reid, the media has done us all an injustice by making us afraid.We can’t protect against every eventuality — we need to realize this and stop expecting that we can.It’s getting into our psyche and creating a culture of fear, when our history is one of fortitude.One nutty person and now we’re all afraid to go to the movies?One insane person and now we all have to take off our shoes just to get on a plane?Can’t we just realize that there are crazy people out there and call it a day?

It’s no better off in the financial industry either.CNBC is one of the worst culprits. “Breaking news” every other minute?They used to have a whole theme song dedicated to “Alan Greenspan’s Briefcase Watch.” It was touted as an event to watch him cross the street in the morning.They even analyzed the thickness of the briefcase.Really?Is this breaking news?We must be hurting for topics.

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It seems to me that there are plenty of things worth reporting that never get seen on TV.Instead, we rehash.Over and over and over again.News, by its very name, by its very definition, is NEW information.Most of the time, I think it would be more aptly named “The Olds.”