Wednesday, 19 November 2008

'This Is Not News'

I've just spent a face-achingly amusing few minutes perusing the comments on the Guardian website in response to John Sergeant's withdrawal from the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Entertaining were such perspectives as:

1) SCD is a programme for people who love watching high-quality dance. Those who voted for Sergeant were not real SCD fans, just 'having a laugh'. (Sidesplitting, eh? That's my idea of a screaming Saturday night jape.)

2) We should bemoan Sergeant's success in the contest (despite his paucity of talent) out of sympathy for those other more talented celebrities, to whom his presence is a wounding affront. (Diddums for the poor celebrities. How their poor hearts must bleed.)

And, most hilariously (and frequently/vociferously stated):

3) This is not news!

No, my friend, this is news. You may not like it, but it's news. So much so, you pissing idiot, that you are yourself commenting on an article about it.

News is what people read/watch/listen to. Current events. There is an infinite number of potential 'news' items at any second. What makes the difference as to what is reported and what is not is – [frickin' drumroll] – public interest.

I'd be prepared to bet that this story has already garnered (and will continue to garner) extraordinarily high reader-counts and comments. Things aren't headlined on the Guardian website solely on the whim of the editors. They are highly-placed because they are read by many people.

Newspapers don't just print stuff and hope. And the newspaper that ignored the interests of its readers would be pretty sodding short-lived.

Think about it, idiot commenters. Or, alternatively, go stand on your soapbox outside a MacDonalds and start yelling: 'This is not dinner!'


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While he was in, the judges complained about his popularity over better dancers. Now he's left, they say it's unfair of him to abandon his supportive public. The poor guy was sliding down a double-edged sword (ouch!).

And as much as the judges would like to think otherwise, Strictly Come Dancing really isn't a dancing competition. As far as the public is concerned it's a popularity contest, and John Sergeant's admirable struggle made him immensely popular.

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