Tuesday, 26 January 2010

What is important news and what is not?

The importance placed by the news media on some news items in preference to others is, in my estimation, a disgrace.

Today, the Otago Daily Times , a major New Zealand daily newspaper, featured as its front page lead story a news item about the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) toughening up on its checking of  long term claimants' continued eligibility to receive benefits. The support stories on the front page were about a local winemaker being nominated for an international award and the possibility that some ornamental trees in the Dunedin CBD may have fallen victim to a fatal fungal disease.

Meanwhile, news of an Ethiopian airliner crashing into the Mediterranean with 90 people on board was deemed important enough to warrant only a brief mention at the foot of page 6, which is the world news page.

Is the loss of 90 human lives not more important than a possible tree disease, a nomination for a winemaking award or an insurer's claim verification practices? 

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