Last week you would have noticed either while flicking through various online channels like youtube and news websites or while watching the news on television after dinner, that one news dominated all- ‘Troubled star Justin Bieber causing chaos in Panama’

I had almost given up whatever little hope remained, in the cultural and intellectual pursuits of our generation when I came across an interesting debate on BBC ‘Newsnight’ on ‘Is news good for you.’

You can see the episode here.

Popular news today isn’t necessarily important news today. True. Celebrity news get more ‘hits’ and ‘likes’ than the Syrian Crisis, mass killings in South East India or the growing environmental crisis.

Why is that? According to Paxman, it is because the way news is told doesn’t help us care. We are dropped into a situation only when disaster strikes.

Drama, conflict and narrative are important motivations and trigger action that enable people to engage with news, events, products etc. However, it need not necessarily encourage them to take action.

Also, what action can one possibly take? What can a person in London or New York for example, do something about the Syrian crisis?

Citizen journalism not only stemmed from the fact that people had a view which they wanted to express but, the reason why it has a wider impact it because it allowed them to use press tools to gather a wider audience and make an impact. Take a look at the Jessica Lal case in India that led to an active public participation, forcing the court of law to punish the guilty.

How can we make important news, popular news? Its an important design challenge… Over the week I will be collecting ideas from various people and posting it on the site.

 Share your thoughts…

Image from http://www.perypezyeurbane.org/europe/inservicetraining/courseprogramme/



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