Hearing the manufactured “non-news” that Canadian Press’s news “gathering” organizations self-poll determined the Newsmaker of the Year in Canada was someone charged with subhuman acts to gain recognition for what is likely an egomaniac’s identity crisis, I was puzzled.
Was this consistent with the claim that news media are simply reporters, detached observers who don’t make the news?
More likely the importance of some media-reported events depends on what makes Facebook users important: the number of hits or negative/positive comments determining the identity recognition, or friends on one’s social network presentation of self.
In stark contrast is the bus driver who, without seeking recognition, stopped his bus, removed his footwear, giving them to a homeless man on the street. Bus passengers recorded his act — not any “news creating” organization.
Why was this act of self-sacrifice not the Newsmaker of the Year?
Could this be because some media prefer creating newsmakers, satisfying its sensationalist agenda garnering public revulsion?
Even if readers react in disgust, then the point seems to be that at least they pay attention.
Perpetrators of heinous crimes know how to make the media recognize their perverse identity and revel in it.
Thankfully, sometimes observations are recorded by citizens with cellphone cameras, not some media professionals hyping degenerates.
For these observers, we should all be grateful.
For news gathering organizations that gauge importance by the number of hits, we should be concerned.
Sensationalist values influence others wanting the recognition of 15 minutes of fake fame, fake recognition like numbered hits in social network popularity contests.
That bus driver’s act was neither fake nor sensationalist, yet deserving Newsmaker of the Year recognition, not for the coverage he received, the hits any blog recorded but for what was a self-sacrificing, caring act valuing humanity over egoist self-important, arrogant self-interest.
Some media recognition isn’t value-neutral and isn’t observation-based news.