Flight 370

Disclaimer: I’m not saying that I’m absolutely and completely informed, or an expert in any way. These opinions are my own, and I’m allowed to have them.

Unless you’ve distanced yourself from every television, newspaper, nosy person and internet-capable computer for the past week or so, you’ve heard about the Malaysian airplane that went missing while en route to Beijing. Flight 370. It’s been everywhere, and every day there are new theories of its location and how it got to be wherever-it-is. New details emerge about the flight path, the pilots, and the design of the plane. These details often conflict between sources and even within sources (“today, we discovered that the pilot didn’t actually do this…”). This has led to and continues to feed a crazy fire of overly-obsessed reporting about the flight.

My question: who cares?

Yes, this is a tragic and somewhat intriguing event. I feel horrible for those that lost family and friends and I understand their desire to find the plane. But do the rest of us really need ‘round-the-clock news coverage of an incident involving an airline that isn’t even connected to us? Some news outlets (CNN, I’m looking at you) have covered nothing but this flight for a week now.

I don’t want to sound too insensitive, but if you ask me, that plane is at the bottom of the ocean, along with the passengers, and that’s where it’s going to stay. Spending an inappropriate amount of time and money reporting in to the public every three and a half seconds isn’t going to help find it. And there are stories that deserve and warrant more intense coverage – you know which ones I refer to. And if you don’t, look past the front page of the paper, or check a different outlet. Newsworthy mysteries and events take place every single day, and we chose to exercise our freedom of speech and our resources on this?

Meanwhile, Chinese relatives of the lost passengers have threatened to start a hunger strike because they haven’t heard anything from Malaysia. Just putting that out there.

I think it’s significant for those actually involved to find the plane if they so choose. But this feels to me like one of two things: a distraction from a real and troubling news story, or another over-reported event by the press in order to legitimize their art form. The public can see it, and we’ve turned away from legitimate stories in frustration and annoyance. Doesn’t the press corps know that we have more important things to worry about, in the news and in our lives?

Are any of you out there clicking on every link that claims to have a new theory on Flight 370? Is it worth the effort anymore?

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4 Comments

    • I think that the topics of reality TV shows have been getting a little out of hand recently (“I can’t believe they’re making a show about that!”) but I also think that we’ve kind of asked for it. We use TV as an escape from our own world; nine-to-five Joe is interested in seeing how people live more “exciting” lives.

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  1. You may be right about the news media and all the speculation and guesses but come on, your statements come across pretty cold. “Who cares?” A lot of people are praying for the families and those lost to be recovered. What if it was your mother, sister, mom, dad?

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    • Coverage of these events is fine, and even productive to a small extent. But those that are directly related to the victims (the Americans, anyway) are in the loop and receive coverage outside of normal news outlets. I think that it’s unfair to the families to be this obsessive. If I were in their shoes, I’d like to grieve a little more privately than see coverage and speculation at every corner. But I can only speak for myself…

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