News used to be about informing people about important issues and stories of the day. It is now becoming a buffet of things that people want to know for whatever reason. The demand for ratings and ad revenue drive most of what we see broadcast as “news”. Here is a small sampling of stories in the last week:

$15,000 of underwear was stolen from a Victoria’s Secret store in the Newport Mall in Jersey City.
You bet they have brassieres on that page.

A Xenoglaux has been found in a Peruvian preserve.
Also known as the “long-whiskered owlet”.

In an effort to prevent unnecessary deaths of migratory birds, two skyscrapers will turn off their lights during “peak migration hours”.
You can donate money to the cause on your Minnesota State tax return form, or call the Audubon Society at 651-739-9332.

Don King attended the Pope’s general audience in the front row this month.
“Afterward, King announced that the pope will be fighting George Foreman in Las Vegas for the World Boxing Organization heavyweight crown.”

An eBay auction listing a George Foreman Grill owned by Manny Ramirez was pulled after reaching a high bid of $99,999,999.00.
Well, that’s a relief. Too bad it wasn’t Anna Nicole Smith’s diaries. They sold for over $500,000 on eBay.

“Berlin Zoo’s irresistibly cuddly baby polar bear made his public debut Friday.”

A Man in the state of Maine that captured a mouse three times had to retrieve his dentures from behind a wall when the mouse took them as part of the most recent escape.

Gay Police told not to sway their hips, or risk being fired (in the Philippines).

Sex workers in British Columbia seek to form a co-op to provide training and health services.

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa ousted in Hawaii. (the state fish).

The list could go on. Is this stuff really news? What is the purpose of news supposed to be?

Writing sensational headlines and misleading stories were part of the newspaper wars in New York City 100 years ago. They called it “Yellow Journalism”. Are things getting better or worse?

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