Andy Mitchell from Radio Wave

The nature of news is, of course, that it comes, and it goes, and by and large, not a lot of it really matters.

Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 12:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 1:28 pm
Franklin Graham

The problem these days, with 24-hour rolling news internet and social media, is that it keeps coming whether we like it or not.

Remember when we used to have to wait for the next news bulletin at the top of the hour, or, in the case of television, wait until teatime after we’d all sat through the Magic Roundabout first? Aah halcyon days! Days when the news ran at our pace, and broadly the stuff that got reported was the stuff we needed to know and no more.

As a new report suggests we are more anxious than ever before about everything, it’s hardly surprising to discover that kids these days are having to absorb so much information in one day, and yes it’s fair to say much of it is tripe.

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Now as a journalist, you’d expect me to welcome any opportunity to catch up on the news. But is it really news?

As reporters we pride ourselves on being able to whip up a story so we can get reaction - ask people how they feel about it, and then we are on to the next thing in as many minutes.

Showbiz news has always been popular. It comes as no surprise that carefully crafted PR ballyhoo follows top shows like Strictly Come Dancing as TV bosses fight for our Saturday night attention. All the sideshows are there, whipped up into a frenzy about who kissed whom - the end product to get us to tune in and watch a TV show. Is that news? Or is that clever PR?

Now more than ever, we need to separate what we NEED to know from what someone feels we SHOULD know because it furthers their own agenda. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to take in and process every last twist of the pen.

Whipping up a story and watching it spin is one thing, but what of the REAL news? I always imagine news to be like a bucket of water... put your hand in and whip it up, take your hand out and the water’s still the same after the storm.

The Franklin Graham (pictured) hoo harr now seems like a lifetime ago.