Look sweetie, news we can use!
We journalists are trying really hard these days to give people content that really makes a difference to them.
The very technical news media name for it is “news you can use.” A good example is an actual story from Mexico this week…
“Honey, I’ll have a little more coffee, please. Look, it says here in the paper that 280 crocodiles have escaped from a refuge up the road, and they’re roaming around loose!”
“Well, I’ll be, Lamar! I guess I’d better go bring the kids inside, if we have any kids left!”
“Right. And here’s a tip, hon. It says here these things are up to 10 feet long, and we shouldn’t try to capture them. So you can just put away that roach spray and ball-peen hammer.”
This simulated conversation shows why such news is important to regular readers such as yourself. If entire towns have been turned into buffet dinners for crocodiles, you can probably make money from that.
Here’s another example. A couple of weeks ago a guy in Malaysia was arrested after they found nearly 100 live reptiles in his luggage. I know, you’re saying, “Bob, who cares?” Well, this is why people who travel might want to know about it:
- the smuggler was about to board a plane in Penang, a luxury tourist resort island.
- the guy only got a six-month sentence for this. he’ll be back soon.
- most of the reptiles were boa constrictors.
- the way they found him was, HIS BAG BROKE ON THE CONVEYOR BELT!
In other words, the Samuel L. Jackson movie, “Snakes on a Plane” was a few minutes from becoming more than just in-flight entertainment.
You know, the media pundits might call it “news you can use,” but I think of it as something more. As a proud news blogger, I like to believe we’re busy creating agoraphobics, just as fast as we possibly can!
Top: A crocodile waits for food at a breeding center at “La Boca” in the Zapata Swamp Biosphere Reserve Park south of the Matanzas province in central Cuba, September 17, 2009. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan
Left: An officer from Malaysia’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks carries a luggage bag used by a Malaysian man who attempted to smuggle reptiles out of the country last month, at a courthouse in Sepang outside Kuala Lumpur September 6, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad
Right: A copy of an undated court document released to media organizations September 6, 2010, shows a rhinoceros viper, one of the reptiles a Malaysian man tried to smuggle out of the country last month. REUTERS/Handout/Sepang Sessions Court