Have I got news for youPosted: 24/09/2011
Eight o’clock. It’s rushhour at the trainstation. Just before entering the busyness of the day, the guy with the everlasting smile hands me Spits. On my way to the platform, I quickly grab Metro. These two daily newspapers are not the same in every aspect, so my journey is spent reading and comparing both.
This is a daily routine, a ritual. If the guy with the everlasting smile, for some reason, wouldn’t be at the entrance of the trainstation tomorrow, it would be a dissapointment. In the evening, after dinner the ritual continous with checking Nu.nl or watching the evening news on tv for the latest scoops.
Nowadays, there is a broad choice of media. Television and Internet have contributed to this fenomenon. This has not merely opened doors for the distribution of news, but also for that of entertainment. People who are interested in politics, economics, or entertainment can choose to focus on these criteria only.
However, argues Prior (2005), this increasing media choice widens the knowledge gap between individuals who prefer politics and others who prefer entertainment. Thus, in a high choice environment, news competes with entertainment, people, with choice, will follow their preference. In a low choice, broadcast model, people will be exposed to news and learn through that exposure.
I am interested in the world around me. But I can understand that people prefer to watch entertainment after, say, a hard day of labour. For relaxation or escapism. The knowledge gap shouldn’t be widened though, so maybe we should think of other ways to bring the news to the people.
Part 2 What you see is news, what you know is background, what you feel is opinion.
Lester Markel, American journalist, 1894-1977
It appears that, starting from the 22nd of september, you are charged for an ID-card after all. Earlier this month NOS reported that documents which are obligated by the state are free of charge. Thus, within the same month a new law has been created and wiped off the table.
The responses are either the opinions of individuals who think the costs of ID-cards are too high or the frustration about politicians who have the power to change their minds by the minute.
Everybody has an opinion about this issue. You’re either for or against it. It’s good way of ventilating, though, to read other people’s opinions and perhaps…change your mind, by the minute.
As an experiment to try to get a discussion started on Nu.nl, I posted a comment that critizes the article: It’s really strange and terrifying that policymakers/the government can change a law, just like that. Obviously, they don’t need the opinion of the people to do so and the rate by which they change their minds (and even act on it) means that they have more power than we think.
Noone has responded to my comment yet. But I still think reading and posting comments is a good way of finding out what individuals think, what is on their minds and their frustrations. Maybe policymakers should do this sometime.