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Does Personalized News Lead To Ignorance? 396

blackbearnh writes "As newspapers struggle to survive and local broadcasts try to find a way to compete with cable news, more and more news outlets are banking on what people want to hear about, rather than what they need to hear. Thoughtful analysis of problems is being pushed out of the way to make room for more celebrity gossip. Electronic news guru Chris Lee thinks that as people get news increasingly tailored to their tastes, the overall knowledge of important issues is plummeting. 'I think one of the observations about how consumers are behaving in the past five years that has surprised me the most is, again, this lack of feeling responsible for knowing the news of their country and their local government of that day. I don't think it's just a technology question. I think if you asked people now versus the same age group 20 years ago, I think they'd be stunningly less informed now about boring news, and tremendously more knowledgeable about bits of news that really interest them.'"
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Does Personalized News Lead To Ignorance?

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  • Well duh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by spammeister ( 586331 ) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {ccrfoomsatnaf}> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:01AM (#30932050)
    Boring news is called boring because it is indeed boring. If people were interested in boring news then it wouldn't be boring, it would be interesting. Technically anything that is newsworthy shouldn't be boring, because it would be interesting to someone.

    Ok now I'm boring myself with this.
    • Re:Well duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SailorSpork ( 1080153 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:04AM (#30932072) Homepage

      Or said another way, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Works for news, too.

    • by MistrX ( 1566617 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:09AM (#30932120)

      I don't read boring news, I read slashdot!

      Oh wait... I think I just confirmed your post and the article.

    • Re:Well duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:09AM (#30932122)

      Newspapers are out because no-one has the time to read them. Real life TL;DR.

      The sheer amount of news that you can get makes it hard to actually pay attention to it. Ten years ago I was glued to the evening news at eight-o-clock. That was about the only news you could watch on TV. Nowadays the news is on for 25 hours a day, iterating and re-re-re-iterating the same shallow 'reports'. Who watches that? No-one I know does.

      To much of a thing becomes annoying.

      Besides, it used to be that local news was covered much more then international news. What do I care about someone on the other side of the planet that just bumped his big toe? That isn't news to me!

      And, lastly, watching TV in general is a pain because of the commercial breaks that are longer than the normal programming. It isn't watchable anymore.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by afabbro ( 33948 )

        Newspapers are out because no-one has the time to read them.

        Which is why The Economist folded. Oh wait, I guess not - the densest newsmagazine on the planet continues to thrive. Hey look, bookstores are still open. Turns out people do have time to read! Who knew!?!?

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      In other words, what we don't want to know can't hurt us...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      yet most americans know who is winning on American Idol...

      Sorry, but it's not personalized news that is making people dumb.....

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      If the written word is boring, it's the writer him or herself who is boring, not the news or other subject matter. A good writer can write an engaging story about watching paint dry.

      The only thing boring about, say, Google getting out of China, or the results of your local elections, is the way this news is presented.

      people only care about Paris Hilton because that's what the corporations that own the news outlets want to to care about. "I am the great and powerful wizard of Oz. Do not look at the man behin

  • by jjoelc ( 1589361 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:06AM (#30932086)

    As odd as it sounds, I think that news should not ever be tailored to the "consumer". Telling the people only what they want to hear is just as bad (if not worse) than only telling them the news YOU want them to hear... If I was planning on becoming a repressive regime leader, ruling my country with an iron fist... I would start by telling all of the people all the "news" they wanted to hear.... In-Depth reviews of the latest "Mycountryian Idol", all the sports news they wanted, how wonderful the newest movie blockbuster is (and who the stars are sleeping with!)

    Then the populace would be too busy thinking about those silly topics to even notice or care that I had just imposed mandatory impalement sentences for jaywalkers.

    • I disagree with you. I think giving people the news they want is the only way this has worked. Because who else is there in the equation to please with the news? You have the newsmakers, the government and the newsreaders. And only the last one makes sense.

      Allow me to point out what is wrong with your simplified explanation. Sure, news has relied on "Mycountryian Idol" and movie reviews on slow news days or even on a site where they can present a dearth of information. However, once the jaywalking impalement law is passed, some people are going to experience a loved one being impaled for jaywalking. Now what do people want to hear news about? TV or the impalement of citizens for jaywalking? The reporters understand this and know that breaking this now ... even breaking the possibility in advance before the law is passed ... will generate higher ratings than their competitor.

      This sort of capitalistic scheme for news is not without faults but your example is down right disingenuous. A single news source breaking the story of someone passing laws to impale jaywalkers would bring down their site as people rushed to read more about where and how this is happening. Despite the lack of bad things happening resulting in crap news on TV and in print, you must understand that people (at least Americans) still are very concerned with themselves and their well being above anything or anybody else.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:51AM (#30932508)

        The problem lies in that the GP was talking in what we call "hyperbole".

        There is no data in the news.

        The story about the impalement would certainly get a story about the poor old person that got killed for jaywalking. There would also be a story about the poor old person that was killed by an evil jaywalker (assuming there was a market for it-- even if there isn't they may run it just to start controversy which they can then tell you about on the news...).

        In a complex issue the facts can be twisted to make up anything you like, and the news does just that to fit the news to the demographic.

        Imagine instead that the law in question is a quagmire of boring politics rolled into a massive 1900 page essay of law that even intelligent people admit is a pain to read. Let's say it's about, oh I don't know, health care reform.

        What intelligent information has the news brought you about the reform bill?

        So far I've heard that it's socialist, will save millions of lives, will lower the quality of service costing millions of lives, will cost us a hojillion dollars, will cost less than it does now, will cost more than it does now, will go the way of social security and dissappear, will be forced on the country, can't be forced because of Brown, that Brown is Bush and therefore is evil, that Obama can't keep campaign promises, that he hasn't because of evil republican's blocking healthcare, that evil democrats want to control my freedom of choice, that people in Canada can't get higher level services because of their system, that people in Canada have worse healthcare than the US, that people in Canada have better healthcare than in the US, that England healthcare is better than Canada, that England healthcare is worse than ours, that some states have their own systems, that Nebraska won't have to pay for it...

        ad infinitum.

        There is no data in the news. Why should their be? The news is stereotypically "boring" and why is that? Because real news means sitting and listening to facts and weighing them in your mind. But this requires news organizations to collect a LOT of data only to appeal to a shrinking group of people who'd rather get their news from the most reliable of sources... the internet.

        The news makes money by presenting facts. The more they can present using less facts, the more profitable. Better to make hours of cheap news out of a few facts than one good hour dedicated to hundreds of facts. No one seems to be able to tell the difference, and when they can, they call it "boring".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Simulant ( 528590 )

        However, once the jaywalking impalement law is passed, some people are going to experience a loved one being impaled for jaywalking. Now what do people want to hear news about?

        Well, some people probably want to hear news about the law but what about everyone else? Until you reach a critical mass of citizen impalements, I think the parent is correct.

        I think giving people the news they want is the only way this has worked.

        How exactly has it worked? I find my fellow countrymen to be more ignorant about history & current events, both national & international, than the citizens of most other countries, even 3rd world ones. No offense....

      • Funny, this very discussion was on NPR this morning. The guests were a journalist and a producer and they were talking about the current state of popular "news" networks. The specifically harped on NBC and FOX. These networks are getting great viewership not because they are presenting the news, but because that have celebrities presenting opinions. What you wind up with is the greatest success for capitalism (the networks produce a program that viewers want to watch) but the worst failure for information d

    • while philosophically i agree with this, i believe the "objective reporting" for which you are yearning has gone the way of the dodo.

    • If you think about it, you are not giving people what they want, you are telling people what they want and then giving it to them. It is, in fact, the other way around: a repressive regime leader would be the last person to allow consumers choice over the news they get.

      Acting on the assumption that people don't want to hear news that could topple their own local regime does nobody any good. Assuming the regime is any threat, they will have control over news outlets, so the news outlets choosing the news doe

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:12AM (#30932150) Journal
    I particularly enjoyed how they ripped apart so many aspects of 'news' over the past years and coming years. From "Do bikinis cause cancer? More at 11" to automated journalism []. But then somehow claim that the newsreader is ignorant for seeking news that is personalized to him or her. Maybe, just maybe, if a wide reaching non-specific news source treated their readers with respect, produced quality and engaged in more investigative journalism than "look at this picture" or "Ten worst/best" lists then we would all be reading it.

    Until then, I guarantee you that people will prefer to seek specialized news sources because the editors and writers for that source are often experts and their biases are often exactly what we want. Just look at the blogs of Michael Geist and Bruce Schneier, way more preferable than any big name news site's 'computer security' division.
  • by a2wflc ( 705508 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:12AM (#30932156)

    People discuss the controversial news on sites with other people who agree with them. And they get depth of knowledge about "their side" and get attacks, misrepresentations, and lies about "the other side". Then they often "forget" which was news, facts, or opinions and treat most of what they read on a biased site as true. It would often be better if they were ignorant on the subject.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      People discuss the controversial news on sites with other people who agree with them.

      You must be new here. VI vs Emacs? Mac vs Microsoft? Hell, there are even Sony apologists here, and RIAA apologists.

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:13AM (#30932160)
    This coming from the same mainstream media that usually just regurgitates whatever the police and prosecutors allege in a criminal report? Case in point, what happened to Ryan Frederick []. Absolutely questionable and "juicy" from the beginning. At the very least, the papers should have made a scandal about why the police would be so moronic as to raid a small-time pot user 3 nights after a man with a vendetta against him burgled his home. If that isn't a public interest scandal right up there with "sex offenders are in your neighborhood," then I don't know what is because when the news poured out about what really went down, it made a lot of his community deeply uncomfortable about what the police would do to "protect them" (BTW, it gets worse, like the police using men who are active burglars to get them evidence).

    Excuse me, but if Google or someone can create an active intelligent search agent which will build me a comprehensive list of public corruption news, political news, civil liberties issues, etc., then I'll be a hell of a lot more informed and less "ignorant" than I would be if I had to read a paper or magazine that caters more toward the assumption that the only thing people want to read about is celebrity news and what pretty white girl got killed after hooking up with 3 strange men in a foreign country.
    • You're completely missing the point. Stories like the one you describe are precisely the ones that a huge percentage of the population will simply ignore. You see it...even look for others like it...but you're outnumbered a thousand to one by people who consciously choose to pretend it never happened.

      The job of a real news organization is to present newsworthy stories whether you want to see them or not.

      • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @10:35AM (#30932932)

        In the case of Ryan Frederick, when the public caught wind of what went down, the public outrage was so high that the prosecution desperately tried to move the trial to another region of Virginia because the public was so incensed that they seriously feared that they would get a nullification.

        The media is brilliant at manufacturing controversy in cases like Natallee Holloway. Now, if only they'd turn that power to good instead of evil, they'd be able to do a two-fer: a public service and bring in the viewers/readers. In any given community, there's always something rotten going on with which they could whip up the public like they do with stories of pretty white girls going missing.

        For God's sake, the media in Maryland could have had a field day when the Mayor of Brewyn Heights was thrown to the ground and forced to lay handcuffed, in his boxers, in the blood of his two dead dogs by Prince George County police after they raided his house over a monumentally stupid, obvious drug bust screw up. If that can happen to a mayor, that can happen to any white or asian middle class family.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          For God's sake, the media in Maryland could have had a field day when the Mayor of Brewyn Heights was thrown to the ground and forced to lay handcuffed, in his boxers, in the blood of his two dead dogs by Prince George County police after they raided his house over a monumentally stupid, obvious drug bust screw up. If that can happen to a mayor, that can happen to any white or asian middle class family.

          And here is where the news falls down. Who says it was a screw up? The news? How do we know it wasn't a

  • Other Consequences (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zeromorph ( 1009305 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:16AM (#30932186)

    It will affect social interaction in some way or the other, since you cannot be sure people heard something just in was in your news. This will lead to coordination problems due to the lack of common [] knowledge []. (There is a nice book about culture, coordination, and common knowledge Michael Suk-Young Chwe.)

  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:17AM (#30932204)

    In the US at least, knowing a lot about ANYTHING makes you a nerd, a social outcast, the non-cool guy. Ask a coworker how their boiler works, or how to change their oil. Ask them how to chainsaw a tree. Ask them how to wire a switch, or pull a shot of espresso. Most will look at you like you showed them dirty pictures - "What? Me? Do actual labor?" Combine this with the steady erosion of the effects of causality (helicopter parents, welfare system), combined with the death of Civics as a school subject, and you have population of effete, spoiled sheep, ready to accept whatever shackles are imposed, in order that they be safe and comfortable.

  • People who choose to be ignorant are the same as they've alwas been. The big difference today is that more claim to be informed because the gossip is now labeled news.

    It is easier than ever to find out about world events and local happenings. Add that there is fast access to historical information on any topic and there is no excuse not to be an informed person. A bigger problem is filtering out the relevant from the banal which is what the pros are supposed to be paid to do yet they seem to be failing and

    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

      Also, 20 years ago it was easier to claim to be informed, with who knows how many huge would-be stories not registering anywhere (hence ignorance about them would not be described as "ignorance" far as news are concerned, those events didn't exist), claims being harder to verify, distrubution of information reserved to very few people. Perhaps people knew more about local stuff also because there was nothing better to do then gossips.

      Now...sure, majority is still uninformed. But it's easier to be infor

  • I must say (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZeroExistenZ ( 721849 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:18AM (#30932222)
    Alot of the news in my country is a joke. Really, it's a big joke.

    Politicians are like little children and are arguing and pestering eachother through the media and there's indeed the tendency to serve more news which seem to draw in more people, align with their soap-series, or magazine style "sex-facts", upskirts and what have you.

    I've disconnected from "tv" because of that purpose, but now the crap is entering into my online experience and I choose to ignore it; for one it causes less frustration when "yet another important sounding headline" preaches nonsense. Or there's yet someone pushing some FUD through articles...

    Important news will reach me one way or another, but I don't care about 90% in "news" these days and wont waste time being "in the loop" constantly... I would if the quality would be much much better.

  • by wjc_25 ( 1686272 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:18AM (#30932226)
    I don't think it's just a matter of liking the flexibility, customization, individuality, etc. We live in a world where we're barraged with news sources; there's far more than any one person could keep up with, even if they spent most of their time worrying about it. People are overwhelmed, so they throw up their hands and stick to their little corner. It's a distinctly modern phenomenon.
    • Information about events that affect ME.

      So if there's a car crash near where I live, that (could) affect me and is therefore newsworthy. If a car crashed in a town 50 miles away, that's no longer news and I don't want to hear about it. (Presuming I'm not one of the sick puppies who gets off on gory pictures and other people's suffering). Likewise if the government is going to increase my tax burden: that's news, but on a bigger and more abstract scale.

      If there's a natural disaster in a faraway place, is

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Don't forget: so they can get news they "agree with"

      Which means spun the way they like it.

  • Boring people choose electronic media that complete their central core of boringness and others choose portals like -- well, you know.

    I feel that I am _far_ more knowledgeable about current events using portals like buzzflash, crooksandliars and /. than I would be dodging the ads and cherry pie recipes in a morning newspaper. Who are we kidding to think the editorial board of your "local" newspaper isn't in bed with power?

  • I'm guilty... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bemymonkey ( 1244086 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:19AM (#30932232)

    Checking out my Google Reader account leaves me a bit shocked.

    ~300-400 articles per day, and only about 30 of those (from Reuters and BBC) are actual news. The rest is gadgets, software and other tech stuff.

    Oh well, other people waste their time with Twitter, Facebook and the like.

  • by MojoRilla ( 591502 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:21AM (#30932240)
    Does reading Slashdot lead to ignorance? Nothing about the State of The Union here! Just news for nerds. If that is ignorance, give me a steaming platter!
  • ... comes responsibility. of people using it, to use it as best they know, and people creating, legislating, and distributing it. i'm actually an isp and content provider in one, running a cyber cafe. want to help publish educational content for people here? no, it's not terribly profitable, games are more profitable, so we'll have to work for very little money, or publish stupid content, games and facebook, beer and porn and silly entertainment that sells, and have more users. that's how the money dist
  • Really, as soon as we got more than one TV channel with the news on it, we had the option of picking and choosing the news that causes us the least discomfort and appeals to our personal biases. The internet has of course taken this to the extreme, now we have news and information sites tailor-made to appeal to the cognitive biases of whatever demograph you fit into. You can spend your entire life on the internet as a young-earth creationist and never challenge your beliefs once. The problem of course is
  • Face it: Every news outlet filters and edits, so what you see or hear is at the very least a subset of the reported item. Even if a news outlet just regurgitates a syndicated column or wire report, someone did the original filtering and editing.

    Every journalist spin a story a different way. Whether to sensationalize it, make it fit a more conservative or liberal viewpoint, or even just to make a printed story fit into a certain column length or a video fit into a certain time segment. We never hear t

  • can make that argument for other things, not just current events. Once you start limiting people's exposure to things outside of their interest, it closes their mind off. Ask your average World of Warcraft addict about anything other than World of Warcraft, and they'll say they have a guild meeting to go to or that you're interrupting their grinding. I'm a technology nut, but even I know when to get off the computer and keep an eye on what's going on around me.

    The problem is that feeding someone a st

  • Once you strip out the sensationalism, you frequently find that there is a basis from a story which is not in mainstream media. Sources are scarce, of course, but once you have a basic grasp of the issue you can usually find some blogs or local news which covers the issues being discussed.

    IMHO, the biggest issue is people are too used to having opinions spoon-fed to them through the idiot box, and have forgotten where the good sources of reliable information are.
  • I realize now and then that I'm doing that.. reading only tech sites and the like. I'll try and hit a more general news site like CNN or the BBC and try and see what else is going on in the world, even if I'm not all that interested just so people don't say 'Oh hey, that's terrible about Haiti' and I turn around to say 'What? What's going on?'. It's easier with print media since the 'important' things are right there on the front page, but when you tailor your news sites around one or two topics, you can
  • I disagree... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bjk002 ( 757977 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @10:05AM (#30932672)

    60 years ago most people did not even own a television, let alone even know about the existence of the internet. Many had a newspaper and perhaps a radio. Neither of which offered the volume of content available to individuals today.

    I think the OP missed the point. It's not the availability of news that is the problem, nor is it the filtering to tastes, it's a combination of apathy, time, and format.

    Voters just do not feel connected to their government anymore, and many politicians have a hard time connecting with voters. Reporters have a 30 second spot on which to discuss a topic - plenty of time I'm sure to explore anything complex. The Internet offers the ability to more closely follow a given subject, but time pushes back as to what extent the individual can digest information in volume.

    What you see now are a bunch of semi-informed folks jumping from one site to another, posting witty comments based on their narrow view of a subject, without ever really appreciating the depth/breadth of the subject.

    I would attribute this in part to the culture shift underway in our society, where discussion among individuals has been relegated to trite comments on /. and bulletin boards, as opposed to attending meetings and engaging in real dialogue with other individuals in a face to face fashion. People are not invested in the dialogue, therefore their knowledge suffers as does the content of the conversation.

    Something is being lost when we are not held accountable for our words, and not expecting our words to count. Have you ever watched a politician attend / speak at a town hall meeting? They struggle through with their sound bites, because the format forces a more thorough dialogue of the subject matter.

    • Nes hasn't changed. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:32PM (#30937702)
      60 years ago, people got narrow biased news reports that were chosen by someone else. Today, people get narrow biased news reports that are chosen by them. I wold say that the situation has improved when it comes to exposure to different views. 60 years ago, if the town newspaper decided that they didn't like the mayor of the city two cities over, you were unlikely to meet a single person that didn't 'know' that he was a wife beating child molester, irrelevant of the facts. Today, you would have some people who 'know' this, some people who 'know' it isn't true, and a lot of people that just don't care about he mayor two cities over. When your standing around the water cooler at work, which time period is more likely to give you dissenting opinions?

      The problem doesn't seem to be that people are getting biased inaccurate news. The 'problem' seems to be that people are now becoming aware that the news they get is biased, and are struggling with the idea of choosing the bias themselves instead of having it chosen for them.
  • by GTarrant ( 726871 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @10:19AM (#30932802)
    The reason people are less informed, IMO, is not because there's not enough news out there, it's that there are far too many.

    That doesn't necessarily mean that there should be less. However, the pervasiveness of "news sites" and aggregators means that people can make sure that the news they are exposed to is stuff they know they will likely agree with, and furthermore, omits any details that might make that news less positive or shed any negative light at all on the causes and groups they favor. People can ensure, today, that they are only going to receive the kinds of news they want to hear and that reinforces their already-held beliefs.

    My mother would keep Fox News on every television in the house so when walking from one room to another, she wouldn't miss a thing. She'd turn it off only to listen to Rush or the like on the radio, and she got her online news and opinions from Fox, Townhall, etc. This meant that everything she was exposed to not only was something she was likely to agree with, but it reinforced her beliefs, leading to her implicitly trusting everything they said - even if it was demonstrably untrue.

    My aunt is the opposite, reading DailyKos daily and Rachel Maddow. It doesn't matter whether it's the left or the right - what matters is that with so many news sources today, you can make sure that the news you see, read, and hear, is news that the source knows you'll agree with, and they can take advantage of that.

    A great example is getting on the Metro to go to work this morning, I was handed both the Express (slanted left) and the Examiner (slanted right). The Express cover story was on the State of the Union address. The Examiner cover headline was "GOP Governor Challenges Obama on National TV", with a big picture of said governor, and you'd never even know that the reason was the State of the Union address and they were highlighting primarily the Republican response.

    The problem with this is that it leads to severe polarization - my mother trusted Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to the point that even when it could be proved beyond all doubt that something they said was 100% false (or even contradictory), it instead led to her shouting at the person because she agrees with so much of what they said on other topics that they can't possibly be wrong. The fact that almost anything positive done by the "other side" would be ignored, never reported on, twisted into having "her side" take credit for it, or the like.

    If someone dislikes gay people, they can be sure to find a news organization that will only post negative stories, ignoring all else, even if a gay person cured cancer or saved a thousand children from a fire. And they go on happy that their opinion is being reinforced because hey, look at all these nasty people, and don't have to feel uncomfortable by being exposed to stories that potentially might challenge that worldview. If they dislike organized religion, there's sites out that that will make sure to only point out the negatives thereof.

    The polarization this leads to is tearing not just this, but many countries apart, with sides that, day after day, are hearing nothing but awful things being said about the "other side", and nothing but good things said to them about "their own side", daily reinforcement of something they're already predisposed to believe. This ends any possibility of compromise, of discussion, of reasonable governance, because the other side is not just wrong, but evil, and compromise with evil is abhorrent. The left can't just be to the left, they must be Communist and Socialist, and the right can't just be to the right, they are Fascist and Authoritarian. No wonder we can't get anything done.
  • by KTheorem ( 999253 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @10:20AM (#30932806)
    This was rather explicitly covered in Neal Stephenson's book The Diamond Age. In the Neo Victorian phyle, the higher social ranking a member has the less personalized their newspaper is due to the thought that there are certain things higher ups need to know and it's best if they were all on the same page.

    Then again, the Vickies are also depicted as un-curious and possessing of a stagnant society, so take from that what you will.
  • by Simulant ( 528590 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @10:45AM (#30933062) Journal

    Generally speaking, News in America is not really a product or a service and consumers of news are not really customers. The primary product of the news business is advertising and the real customers are the corporations that purchase that advertising.

        The news we get to see is filtered in a big way by the system we've set up. "Keeping the public informed" is almost entirely incidental these days.

        There was a time when we thought we could rely on ethics to keep things in check.... how has that worked out for us?

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.