Newsworthiness, Depravity, and the Media

Broadcasting necessarily involves value judgment. When you publicize something you prefer a story above alternatives. You assign varying degrees of newsworthiness. And given the fact that publicizing a county fair over 9/11 would be immoral, it’s easy to see that this judgment of news worthiness is not free from the moral realm.

One of the effects of the fall is that humans love to promote and publicize and broadcast that which isn’t worth our time. In a perfect, God-centered world, we would promote things in proportion to the degree of their newsworthiness. God would be in the newspaper. Fox News would talk about God.

The advance of the gospel is more important than the space shuttle.

The bride of Christ is more important than Britney Spears.

Missionaries are more important than politicians.

Why does the media love what it loves? They have a depraved sense of newsworthiness and a lust for money and large audiences. If the media really wanted to promote people who better guaged the evangelical landscape (and truth and grace and reality), do you really think they would give their objects of attention the time of day? I can think of a few individuals more worthy of our time. But they wouldn’t be as titillating to the eye, or as scratching to the ear.

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