The Norman Transcript


April 11, 2014

How About News Cliff Notes?



“Due to its brevity, the sound bite often overshadows the broader context in which it was spoken, and can be misleading or inaccurate. The insertion of sound bites into news broadcasts or documentaries is open to manipulation, leading to conflict over journalistic ethics.”

In other words, the sound bites which have replaced genuine journalism are pabulum, also known as dumbing down. Information is presented on the intellectual level of an average twelve year old. And we were anxious to grow up for this kind of treatment? Perhaps Peter Pan had it right after all. Stay twelve years old forever.

With the advent of 24/7 infomercials that pass for news, all that time must be filled with noise, even if it is nothing but unadulterated blather. If you noticed, any natural catastrophe or horrible event is pounced upon by the Media as the last gasp of oxygen in the room.

They are not content to relate the facts of what happened. Instead, they show the same shots of the event followed by interviews with grief-stricken people, asking compelling questions like “Your whole family is dead. How do you feel?” Then they repeat the same things, verbatim, over and over again until even one of those reality programs is preferable to the so-called news.

This is where News Cliff Notes would come in handy. The catch is that the summary of the day’s events must be written by true journalists and not some vacuous overpaid and pretty reader who enjoys hearing the sound of their own voice.

Just give us the news without editorializing and vacant-eyed talking heads searching the ether for something to brilliant to say. Once or twice a day is more than enough of the daily bad news.

Perhaps they should scrap the 24/7 coverage and return to real reporting of the facts at specified times rather than diarrhea of the mouth offerings proving their fathomless ignorance.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her latest novel Sins of the Father available on Website:

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