What’s wrong with news

What’s wrong with news

: This one headline from the AP says it all:

2,200 Journalists Await Jackson Verdict

It’s wrong not because the story is tacky but because the news is a commodity:

There will be one bit of news that comes out of the end of this trial: Guilty or not guilty. It takes one person to report that and today that word can spread around the world in no time and every news site and every TV and radio station and every blog can know it without sending 2,199 journalists to sit there and wait and repeat the exact same news.

Oh, you want to see how ridiculous Jackson looks under his umbrella as he gloats or mopes? Fine, give that one person a camera and hook it up to the internet. We’ll all see it. We’ll all be able to comment on it just like the chippies before the camera.

Guilty or not guilty.

You certainly don’t need legal analysts to explain that verdict to you. But you’ll have them.

Why are those 2,200 journalists there? Ego, pure institutional ego. The Daily Blatt thinks its readers give two hoots that its own reporter is there instead of running the AP’s story. MSCNNFOX news worry that without their own reporter and camera there, you’ll watch the other guy. But which one you watch is really just a multiple choice question in which all the answers are wrong: You’ll hear no newer, better, extra news on this story on one channel or another.

Those 2,199 extra journalists could be off reporting real stories we don’t all already know about. Or they could be fired, saving their employers money and saving us their moaning about the state of the news business today.

: 1115.org finds quotes from CNN head Jon Klein regretting the volume of Jackson coverage (can’t get to the original story becausae of a registration block):

ìIf I had one decision to take back, it would be the extent of our coverage,î says CNN/U.S. chief Jon Klein, six months on the job. ìLooking back, we should have just covered the beginning and the end.î …

ìWe committed to a reporter and crew there every single day,î Klein says. ìI have not found it to be a very satisfying meal. CNN ought to do stories nobody else has. We did what everybody else did. It was the safe thing to do.î

In terms of news value, the case ìwasnít even close to being the biggest priority,î Klein says. In the future, ìwe will be a lot more careful about committing to ongoing coverage.î