Wednesday, October 20, 2004
U.S. has contingency plans for nuclear war on the Korean peninsula: I must confess, I don't have a copy of those contingency plans, but I'm sure the government has them. The fact that the government has "contingency plans" for anything and everything is not newsworthy.
Today's New York Times has an article entitled: "U.S. Has Contingency Plans for a Draft of Medical Workers."
As I illustrated with my Korean peninsula introduction, this is not news. This is something that's always happening. So, why is this in today's Times? Or to use the journalistic jargon: What's the news hook?
You can go through this story from top to bottom and ask yourself: "Why is this news?" -- and you won't find anything to hang your journalistic hat on.
There is no reason why this story couldn't run, say, Nov. 3. Or Dec. 24. Or Feb. 28, 2005. There's nothing in the story that could get "stale." There's nothing time critical...
Unless your aim is to give Sen. John Kerry some assistance as he continues to repeat his claims that voting to re-elect President Bush is the same as voting to reinstitute the draft.
That's the only reason why this story appears in today's paper.
The mainstream media is working hard to deliver its 15 points to Sen. John Kerry. The only cost to the media is its credibility -- apparently a small price to pay.