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Rewriting the news

Many of my students are under the impression that international news automatically equates to hard-hitting, serious journalism and that celebrity news is "gossip". At this minute, I would love a website devoted wholeheartedly to doing just the opposite: fluffy, happy headlines on all the latest international news.

Consider: "80% of Haitians alive and uninjured today!" "More leisured working class in Scotland than ever before!" "Widespread confidence in previously-controversial investigation!" "Sherlock Holmes TV ads considerate of the hard-of-hearing!"

The exclamation points are all optional.

Then we can settle down to the serious, hard-hitting business of determining the socio-economic ramifications of Lady GaGa's triple Brit Award win and Henry VIII returning to the Globe. As we ought.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
del_c
Feb. 17th, 2010 10:07 am (UTC)
Celebrity gossip isn't necessarily happy either. It all seems to be "My Bulimia Hell By Daytime Talk Show Host" and "Rat Husband Leaves Pregnant Sharon For Soap Co-Star".
owlfish
Feb. 17th, 2010 10:15 am (UTC)
Oh, I know. But calling "celebrity news" "gossip" is part of the problem in minimizing its importance. These are sample people, in strange circumstances, who end up effectively representing the problems and joys of the majority of the population who aren't in the news. That's important for good and devastating news alike.
pwilkinson
Feb. 17th, 2010 10:25 am (UTC)
And what about international celebrity news? Which, assuming (as seems likely from the context) that these are your British students, would surely include almost any reporting coming from Hollywod.
owlfish
Feb. 17th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
If a given person hasn't heard of a particular celebrity, is that celebrity really a celebrity within that context? And if an American is famous in Britain, then surely they are a British celebrity, even if still an American national.
cliosfolly
Feb. 17th, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
It's not quite what you want, but Happy News offers a news feed of national and international stories from an positive, optimistic viewpoint.
daisho
Feb. 17th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
I'm beginning to wonder if I should sign up for one of your courses. :)
owlfish
Feb. 17th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
To teach it?
daisho
Feb. 17th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Goodness, no. You cover some very interesting topics, and it would be nice, unlike my actual degree, to contributing to student discussions I might actually have some informed ideas about. :)
pennski
Feb. 17th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
I note that The Sun believes we should all feel sorry for multi-millionaire Cheryl Cole because some evil tabloid keeps publishing her husband's misdemeanours...
owlfish
Feb. 17th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
Cole's fortune unaffected by recent news!

Cole's husband has fun!
4ll4n0
Feb. 18th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is grist for your mill or sand in your gears, but your comments about gossip reminds me of a recent interview with Bonnie Fuller (editor of celebrity news site and previously magazine and newspaper sections), you can download it at http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/qpodcast_20100210_27327.mp3 (one of three stories on that podcast: Prop 8 re-enacted from court transcripts* Bonnie Fuller on celebrity gossip* Nick Waters - nearing end of 30 day 'chick flick' marathon).
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )