I am not writing now to tell you a story. Not in the traditional sense. I am writing right now, at 1 AM, to talk to you about the News.
What we have now masquerades as the News; it is not, indeed, the News. Newspapers have become that in name only, and have been that for quite some time. They are controlled by advertisements and sponsorships because, in this age of information, they cannot continue in print based on their content alone. Newspapers are now on their last legs. Investigative journalism is dead. In this age of information, you might wonder why something so information-intensive is not only rare, but mostly extinct.
Investigative journalism does not pay, for one. There was a time where you could make money as a real journalist and it would be a Suitable Career. Now, traditionally, journalists go, watch their particular story unfold maybe in person or get responses from 'witnesses', and then feed this to their editor, who eats it wholesale and regurgitates it so that it is neither over-offensive or over-stimulating. The major 'News' outlets employ people to then find these stories written by other people, eat them, regurgitate them into the open mouths of their editors, who then regurgitate it into print after running it by the resident fact checkers. These fact checkers have no real way to verify the Truth other than using regulated Federal resources to verify identity and the relative accuracy of time and date.
Investigative journalism is dismissed as too tedious and inefficient. A good News story gets the same amount of attention and entertainment value, typically, as a well-forged or 'covered' 'News' story. We are fed recycled yammering about hardly even news-worthy 'News', daily. Go do a search for any 'News' story on our good friend Google. Look for a source that is NOT derived. Now look at the next story. Do any of these actually have a reporter describing personally what happened? Is the reporter detailed?
The answers to those questions, most likely, are all 'No'. The reason is simple. The Business Model does not incorporate the News. The Business Model does not incorporate the Truth.
However, there is a dichotomy here. As I am American, I must speak from an American point of view. We Americans believe we know what is what when it comes to the News. But most Americans watch or read 'the News'. The older generation tends towards watching and reading via the idiot box and the newspapers I mentioned earlier. The older generation also tend towards taking things at face-value. The newer generation typically tends towards watching and reading their 'News' via websites; the irony being that, other than time restraints, they are getting the same regurgitation. Both generations watch/read it because it is entertaining. They watch/read it because it tells them what they want to hear, or alternatively, because it thrills them with what they don't want to hear. It tells them about things that are included in the Plan.
The Plan goes like this. Bad shit happens in the world, crazyfucks live next door, people will knife you in your neighborhood, people are poor in certain areas, and in general shit is shit. We learn that thousands are dying in other countries, and it is okay to us because it is part of the Plan. We learn that fifteen Caucasian males die in the county next to ours? Aw shit naw.
But either way, it is still part of the Plan. Shit happens. Death happens. We have become dull to all of this. Investigative journalism from recognized 'News' sources no longer matters because even if it were economically viable, the American public is too goddamned over-saturated with information to take anything from these outlets any more seriously than we take reading about the Inquisition in history. We have to actually actively get worried about these things. We have to be Championing a Cause to have any kind of opinion on a 'News' story.
So we have talked about the Impostors. We have delineated that great mass of corporate sponsorship, regurgitated laziness, and general apathy.
Here's where it gets weird.
The News is still out there. I realize it is silly to say this, but the Internet is Serious Business. I have shown you how it can feed us 'the News'. Now, if you are reading this, you probably have a Twitter account. You can sympathize when I say that Twitter skips the editing, regurgitation process. It also helps to recognize when people are regurgitating. They either link, or the RT. Blogs risk 'the News', but when you give someone a limit of 140 characters to explain what happened, their opinion on it, and why you should care, they get pretty fucking close to the Truth. They have no time for regurgitation or bullshit.
Now, this is not to say it is impossible to still regurgitate, but the incidence of both low-likelihood of regurgitation and no lucrative money-making mechanism (using only Twitter, at least) makes it much less likely than you would find in blogs, or 'the News' outlets themselves. The fact that 'the News' outlets have Twitter accounts should show you just how little they actually report if you read them. They're regurgitating reports from all the little people.
With tools like Twitter, Friendfeed, what have you, we little people are the real News source now. We have always been, but it wasn't possible to actually facilitate it until now. We shouldn't have to listen to 'the News'. We don't have to. If we all become original reporters, we won't deal with 'the News' except for entertainment and maybe summary. Investigative journalism might be dead, but with this it will only be dead in body. Its spirit lives on in every cellphone video of a police line, every uploaded twitpic of a bloodied face, a shocked expression, a roaring crowd. It will live on in us all.
And maybe, just maybe, we'll get to the Truth.