I used to be able to read a newspaper every morning.
Well, that died when newspapers could not be bothered to hire real writers that knew how to spell or use grammar and journalists who could report on a story without filling up 90% of their piece with quotes from hitherto-unknown people. And of course, since moving to the hardworking, git-’er-done environment of North America, a huge contrast from the chalta-hai attitude of Calcutta, coupled with the lack of domestic help, means there is very little time to sit down with a newspapers. Which means, and if you are an employer, you already know this, that like everyone else, I get my news off the internet at work.
The news on the internet is highly available and even more saturated with meaningless quotes from hitherto-unknown people who have claims to some form of leadership. And by it’s very nature, the internet provides repetitive reporting, where the same badly written article is presented on site after site.
And then we have news sites that won’t let me read the news anymore. I am forced to watch a video. And worse, before the video there is a compulsory ad.
Needless to say, where there is a compulsory commercial I don’t bother to watch it or the “news”.
In some cases there is no commercial or one that can be skipped, but then I am faced with a couple of newsreaders indulging in light banter and shuffling papers and then turning serious as they tell you about a horrific massacre somewhere in the world. Or worse, about some kitty video that is making waves on the internet, based on the number of times the mindless, bored and unchallenged teenaged community with masses of time on its hand has clicked repeatedly on it.
So we went from random access backwards to linear access. We went from CDs to cassette tapes, you know the things your Mom and Dad may still have lying around? When I have a newspaper in front of me, I can choose stories and read pages in whatever order I like. With these video news snippets, I cannot.
I wonder how many people still feel frustrated by this trend towards video news. I am sure there are a few out there who like it that way. But would it be too much to ask (a) that you make the video optional and (b) provide a transcript for people like me?