One of the criticisms Neil Postman made in Amusing Ourselves to Death was that television news lacked local context. I was reminded of his comments earlier this week when I was watching CNN‘s morning show. Coverage of a national news story was interrupted to air live video of a fire in Dallas.
You couldn’t see much in the video, because the screen was mostly filled with dark billowing smoke. The voiceover told us that there were four buildings involved, but no one had been hurt and no other buildings were at risk.
Obviously, it is an important story for its immediate neighborhood, and but why did the CNN producers decide it was necessary to create a Postman “…and now this…” moment?