I had a guest speaker in the classroom -- John McManus, director of gradethenews.org. He was asking students in my newswriting class what they thought of the current direction of the mainstream media, particularly the trend toward more entertainment and 'feel-good' stories, and less actual news.
Honestly, even though this is a journalism class, I thought a lot of my students wouldn't see it as that big of an issue...that only the over-50 crowd like me worries about this kind of thing. But you know what? I was wrong.
Here's what some of them had to say:
"How many times do you need to find out about Brad Pitt," said Gabriel Velez. "The whole celebrity thing...we have so much of it. How much more can you take before it just gets boring?"
"I'd prefer that the news media would give me the news that I need to know...what's going on with our government...avian flu," said Victoria Gothot.
The PR majors were concerned too.
"If it affects the quality of news, PR is affected," said Kao Saechao. "If the news media isn't reaching the public, PR loses a venue."
You know, sometimes it's nice to be wrong.