I was watching Fox News Watch last night, and the results of a poll were read: A number of journalism students were surveyed and asked what would be their idea of a "Perfect Newspaper"? Some of their answers were a bit surprising. Nowhere was it mentioned, "More journalistic integrity", "Better research and fact-checking", "Less political bias", etc. No, the most popular answers were "More Features," "less reliance on wire reporting," and "More entertainment news".
I'm sure there are many reasons for these opinions, but one came to me that probably also reflects our country's news tastes overall: In the summer of 2001, our biggest concerns were Gary Condit and shark attacks. However, since 9/11, our lives have been a non-stop, 24/7 parade of hard news - terrorism, war, political, economic, you name it. I think people are really tired of the endless hammer-to-the-head of hard news, and are ready to get back to soft stuff that's more interesting to them. It's been overkill for 18 months, and the journalism students are picking up on it, too.
Just after 9/11, I, like many others, watched CNN/FoxNews/MSNBC as much as possible. After a couple months of that, I couldn't take it and quit cold turkey - just couldn't watch any more of the ticker tick-tick-ticking across the bottom of the screen. Lately I've gone back some, but it's still difficult.
I don't know, what the country needs is some really GOOD news. Osama's head on a pike would be nice.