Saturday, March 18, 2006

I'm Out of the Loop

I feel bad when someone from Columbus starts talking to me about some local news item. I have to look back at them blankly because I just don't follow the local Columbus, Ohio news at all.

Until today, I didn't really know why this was. I mean, I knew that I felt that the Columbus Dispatch, our daily newspaper, was amateurish and totally disconnected from our community (like me!). I knew that our local newscasters have had so many face lifts and chin tucks that they have begun to look like aliens, making the news completely unwatchable. Nevermind the ridiculous stories they masquerade as news.

But was that enough to cause this pathological aversion to local news?

However, the answer to my nonchalance to local news hit me in the face today when I found out that Yahoo now has a "local news" feature. Maybe I only like to get my news from the Web??

Nope. I jumped into the Local News section of Yahoo and was aghast at the news items.

  • Three sixth-graders were suspended Thursday from Galloway Ridge Intermediate School for either handling or looking at a toy handgun.

  • Many Roman Catholics in Ohio are being told to go ahead and eat corned beef on St. Patrick's Day.

  • Anyone looking for a new place to shop may want to check out Legacy Crossings on Ohio 95 East where preparation for the arrival of Kohl's Department Store has begun.

How did this become the news? The rest was a series of trials, crimes, car accidents, scandals and fires.

I'm sorry for the people who were robbed, hit, victimized and burned, but is this news? It is not news to me.

I am interested in:

  • politics

  • accomplishments of people

  • cool ideas about how to improve the world or my life

  • trends

  • stories about people's lives

  • advances in science

These, except for politics, were totally absent on the Yahoo page, and, of course, in our newspapers and newscasts.

Basically, I want news to be something that makes my life better after I've watched it.

Here's an example. The History International channel (Hint) had a show on a few weeks ago about the Normans and how they took over England, under William the Conqueror. I feel I am better off now that I have that historical lesson under my belt.

What "historical lessons" are happening right now in Columbus, Ohio that would make me a better, more knowledgeable person?

Radio, TV, newspapers --- Don't you know what I want? Doesn't anyone else want this besides me??

Maybe not.

P.S. I have to admit, I don't watch national news on TV either. Unless you count Jon Stewart and the Daily Show (and Bill Maher).

Oh, yes, and Google News that I can customize to leave out the junk.

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