Looking for meaning

Posted on September 27, 2011


The papers shout out from the news-stand.  Buy me! Buy me! Each day, the fabric of news is woven.  The reader is drawn in.  First, the loud colour of the front page headline, then the pattern leads through story after story.  The quality of the news – its texture making itself plain.  Between forefinger and thumb, its warp and weft comes to bear: comment, and editorial line set against the alignment of ‘facts’ and  current events.  What a huge sense of anticipation as I approach!  News, analysis, comment: a veritable feast of input – not just a mean piece of fabric, but a whole fabrication of meaning.

The weekend papers offer the biggest excitement.  A whole, huge paper with supplements, news extras, stories about people, things, events – news and views!  Hurrah!

But……is there some giant joke being played these days? My excitement is more often than not equally matched by disappointment when I realise that the fabric of stories is like a threadbare cloak – thin on content and even thinner on analysis.

Is there some matrix-like farce going on, where we find ourselves searching and searching but not finding? Is it me that is losing meaning, or is it the papers?  Is there a depth to analysis that we are missing – a kind of collective agreement not to breach certain levels of discussion?  Or have we had these discussions already and there is nothing new to discuss?

I don’t know.  All I know is that I feel like I’ve eaten spun sugar  – it looks big, bright and textured but is really made of air and sugar – an illusion of depth and completeness.

Perhaps we are not creating the news anymore, or perhaps we are not ‘seeing’ the news when it is made.  So….what I want to ask is…what makes good news?

Posted in: Urban studies