News as entertainment… July 26, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
I’m not gone on Freakonomics, noted that before. But this intrigued me, a piece on “Why We Really Follow the News?”. Neil Postman in Amusing Ourselves to Death had an interesting analysis that it was essentially those in the middle and parts of the working class who tended to follow news and buy newspapers back in the day, rather than those who were too constrained financially or otherwise or those who were in elites who were comfortable that they were in control. I paraphrase, but there’s a certain degree of truth. What’s fascinating is that so many of those interviewed tend to believe that news consumption does keep well informed while simultaneously having a significant entertainment value. But this didn’t mean that following politics was directly equivalent to following a sport. Even if politics was entertaining it had other important components – self-interest and so on. Some argued it was down to externalities… arguing that it benefits the individual and the world by knowing the consequence of votes, as against following sports. This isn’t to say it’s wrong to follow sports (or music or whatever) simply that they are different.
There was some intriguing stuff about why people vote – a lot of it about not voting for one as distinct from positively voting for another. And I guess many of us on the left who will never have cast a preference for a party that has gone into government, that would be my experience anyhow, that wouldn’t be an unfamiliar experience. It’s almost like damage limitation.