Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Late News Better Than No News?

The Monday, May 9th issue of the Springfield News-Leader contained a story about a U.S. Senate bill that would limit access to information provided by the National Weather Service. A bill that was introduced April 14th.

The Palm Beach (FL) Post ran a story about the bill on April 20th. The blogosphere picked it up the next day. A Google search results in many links to editorials against the proposal shortly thereafter, but few news stories until May.

This is not end-of-world news, and there certainly have been far more important news stories to fill the pages of local daily newspapers. Perhaps this particular story didn't deserve space until a slow news day.

Still, the News-Leader's associate editorial page editor, Brian Lewis, lamented in his Sunday column about the lack of coverage of the genocides taking place in the Sudan and Darfur. He asks:

Why do we know so much about the extravagant wedding of a woman from Duluth, Ga.? And Michael Jackson?

The mainstream media (MSM) are gatekeepers. They decided what news to include in any given news cycle, and what to leave out. No news organization can possibly cover everything. I know this. I've taught this.

Yet I can't help but see hypocrisy in Lewis' column.