Thursday, January 13, 2011

Picking Out the Real Issues in the Daily News

How Do You Decide What's  Important to Notice in the News
Being Aware is Tougher than it Used to Be

Every day the blast of information from mainstream media (newspapers, TC, radio) and social media (eg Spacing, Torontoist, Twitter, weblogs, etc) is intense, gigantic and shouting for our attention.

Mainstream news cycles used to be predictable. There were time slots when those with something to say had to be aware of. Want to get your message seen on TV? Better plan ahead for release so the journalists can get their act together for broadcast/deadline times.Press releases and announcements were controlled and the message was well thought out before release.

Now, with our microchip-speeded-up-world, even mainstream media is publishing news on the fly. Some newspapers have multiple editions a day, particularly if you look at them online. I regulary and somewhat obsessively check The Star, The Globe and Mail, The Sun, The National Post, CP24, CBC, CTV, and CityNews to keep up with the daily deluge of disasters that are offered up.

Add in the on the spot, citizen average person anywhere with a cell phone and internet connection, and the flood of things going on in our local world is not just a torrent of data but a flood of biblical proportions.

Being the organic and not silicon-based creatures that we are, we can only notice so much and our attention spans are organically controlled  (We can be hyper-vigilant and alert for only so long). Yet the speed of life and the computer age is driving us to react ever faster.

Take for instance just the latest news in The Star. Which of these did you really take note of?

A New Budget Day: Fare Hike Off, Police Force to Shrink
* Officer Killed, Driver Shot in Stolen Snowplow Rampage
* SIU Clears Toronto Officer in Man's Fatal Fall
* Man Arrested in Yonge St. Standoff Has Merdical Issues, Mother Says
Woman Hit By Car Near Bay and Dundas
* Ambulances Slower to Respond to Emergencies
* Loblaw Ready to Tear Down Historic Warehouse
Pedestrian Killed By Streetcar
* Councillors Compare Leaked Memo to 'Wikileaks'
* Man Charged in Toronto's Second Homicide of 2011
An End to the War on Pets?

Remember, this is just ONE news source. If you were a Toronto City Councillor, which stories would you take note of, or even be aware of?

SPACING Toronto launched in 2003 makes a valiant effort daily to list all the headline stories by their own criteria, but because of political bias, they may often miss some key stories.

Finally, here is an example of an important story that has not gotten much traction in the news:
CRTC Propose to Change Standard for Reporting False or Misleading News ... How did I find that? By noticing ONE tweet our of hundreds

Being Aware Is Tougher Than It Used to Be