Ever since the Internet started changing how news is delivered to us the news media has been trying to adapt. The coverage of the Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight clearly shows that the news media has a long way to go.
The Internet has become the delivery vehicle for on-demand and up-to-the-minute news cycle that many of us have grown accustomed to. In the case of the missing flight, like many current news events, many of us looked to the Internet for updates on the aircraft.
Most of us know the Internet, all though good at delivering unfiltered news to us is also the delivery vehicle for the world’s scammers and conspiracies. As such a lot of noise is created and we are forced to sift through the information overload to get to the crux of the matter. For this I try to rely on the international outlets like CNN or the AP.
Unfortunately they failed miserably. Each “update” was a “breaking news” update devoid of facts and full of opinion. It was no different than what the Internet was already delivering, lots and lots of noise.
The facts are few and simple yet they are lost in the onslaught of opinion to create the illusion of “news” to drive eyeballs to the advertisers. We know that the aircraft departed on March 8, 2014 with 239 “souls on board“. It disappeared 38 minutes later, after the co-pilot replied to air traffic control “All right, good night” during a routine switch off between two air traffic control centers. Seventeen days later it has become apparent the aircraft is not coming back.
That is it. That is all we know.
However the news media has spent an inordinate amount of time guessing what could have been instead on what we know. This has created so much noise about the incident that many people are starting to quote rumors for facts.
I expect the Internet to deliver to me opinion mixed with news. It is up to me to decide which is which. I thought I expected the news media to deliver to me “news” yet through all the noise of what-ifs the facts get lost. To me that signifies that the news media is desperately trying to stay relevant and in so doing it has become nothing more than just another outlet for rumors and innuendo devoid of facts.
The news media, especially CNN, missed its opportunity to show why they are still relevant in today’s fast-paced a la carte news we expect. They have, instead, become part of the noise we have to sift through to get the crux of any issue.