News and the Personal Impact
“News” is what people want to ignore, when a newspaper published false news, or when a television network broadcast a false story. (The FCC defines news as any event that the public can reasonably be expected to know about.) When a person bites off a news bit, that’s news too; and when a person ignores news it’s needless crime. (That’s another definition of news.)
There are lots of news stories that make the rounds, and most of them get some kind of media coverage. The media loves to cover unusual stories because they make for good drama: a story about a common person doing really crazy things, or a story about someone who’s threatening and dangerous. It may sound silly, but the reality is that journalists and television producers and directors are tasked with spreading news as widely and as quickly as they can, so that the public knows what’s going on in their world. Without that kind of coverage, nobody would know what to do with their day.
This is why the story about Charlie Sheen’s behavior makes news, even though it’s fairly inconsequential to the public at large. People read about Charlie Sheen’s latest actions, because it’s interesting and because it’s new information. That kind of interest makes the public feel like it’s a big deal: that perhaps something unusual has happened in their lives. This interest is a kind of journalism, and it helps a news story succeed. Whether the news story is significant is up to the readers: but the interest generated by this kind of media is always helpful.
So how does this apply to you? You may not have interest in the latest celebrity fashions, but you’ll likely listen to some kind of a news program or cable news show. Even if you never pay attention to the same station that your favorite sports team is on, you’ll likely hear about it. The same is true of music, books, and movies: any type of non-media interest may influence readers and listeners to take a different point of view than their usual news-oriented peers.
Now consider how this applies to you. If you’re an artist or work in some other field that isn’t directly related to human interest, it might interest you to learn about a phenomenon that’s happening in your community or country. It’s unlikely that you’ll see news reports or headlines about it, but you might want to read about it so you can understand it yourself. As an artist or creator, this type of news can be a gold mine: many people will purchase your work because of their own unique interests.
Of course, you can’t stop all news from having a social impact. A news story about a natural disaster, for instance, is newsworthy. But if that story didn’t include enough context for your own understanding, it may have a minimal personal impact. A piece written about your local water shortage, for instance, could cause a drought in your area. While this won’t affect many readers directly, when those readers are affected by your community’s water shortage, they’ll feel very strongly about it.