‘No News Today’: 24/7 fatigue and the welcome gaps in reporting storylines.

Australasian Association of Writing Programmes
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
http://www.aawp.org.au/minding_the_gap_writing_across_thresholds_and_fault_lines, 2014
Issue Date:
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After an interval, usually no longer than a night (and often far less; if we’re feeling particularly restless, we might only manage ten or fifteen minutes) we interrupt whatever we are doing to check the news — Alain de Botton In his recent contribution to public discourse, Alain De Botton’s text The News: A User’s Manual critiques the privileged position that news now occupies in a ‘news addicted’ age. He references a time when the main ways an audience accessed news was via ‘thirty pages of a paper’ or ‘half an hour of a bulletin’. 2 Obviously, media convergence and the 24-hour news cycle have crossed these containment lines to produce boundless data—we deliberately employ the word data here as opposed to the mediation of meaningful information that is often sacrificed in the commodification and commercialisation of news as product. The more traditional editorial practice used to determine whether a storyline constitutes ‘news’ involves a mapping to at least one or more standard news values. These now often run second to the pressing agenda of media entities needing to present something, or anything, continuously to the public domain. Taking as our case study the disappearance of Air Malaysia’s MH370 flight, 3 this paper explores the ethical intervention of Misha Ketchell, managing editor for The Conversation, in deciding early in the news cycle not to post any more stories on the missing plane until there was something more newsworthy to report.
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