Why I'm not a Journalist

One of the reasons I decided not to pursue a career in journalism many years ago was the lack of "real" reporting. Especially during the summer months it seemed that journalists were bored and needing something to write (or film) would pursue something not worth most people's time and try to turn it into a real story.

Hence whenever see the headline for the latest Terrell Owens antics, I wonder if the world of sports so incredibly slow that there's nothing else do to than indulge the ego of a millionaire wide receiver turned crybaby?

Who cares if he walked out of camp? Who cares if he won't play without a new contract? There's nothing a prima donna likes more than attention and if the media stopped covering Owens' temper tantrums he'd probably behave. Instead of an interview with Owens in his driveway, how about a story that actually requires some work, like, say, on what would happen to the rest of us if we walked off our jobs and refused to return without a raise.

And it's not only sports journalism that's guilty of turning molehills into mountains. I see the same thing with the coverage of Cindy Sheehan.

The media, bored out of their minds in Texas, have decided to turn this woman into a story.

Christopher Hitchens wrote an excellent article in Slate today about it. He says:

What dreary sentimental nonsense this all is, and how much space has been wasted on it. Most irritating is the snide idea that the president is "on vacation" and thus idly ignoring his suffering subjects, when the truth is that the members of the media--not known for their immunity to the charm of Martha's Vineyard or Cape Cod in the month of August--are themselves lazing away the season with a soft-centered nonstory that practically, as we like to say in the trade, "writes itself."

Covering one woman's cause isn't news. Walk the streets of Washington D.C. and you'll see tons of people with signs protesting something or another. Everyone has an axe to grind. That doesn't make it news.

Thankfully with the advent of the Internet, I no longer have to waste my time watching national news or reading local papers to find interesting hard news stories. Thanks to Google News, the Drudge Report, or other news boards, I can find interesting stories without having to wade through the garbage.