Should we change the meaning of news?

“The trouble begins with what we define as news. For anything to make it to the TV news, a lot of rich people have to die suddenly, spectacularly and with good visuals. So, even if thousands of children die of diarrheal dehydration every year it is not news because they are poor and they die silently, separately, and scattered in homes across the country.” – Kunda Dixit
Dog bites man is not news; man bites dog is, I was told long ago, and that is still the simplest definition of news. But it does not explain the role of media in society, why it is important, and why press freedom is so treasured.
The media is there not just to entertain, or even to educate. Its basic and most important role is to inform – to give to the people information they need to make better decisions.
But when the way the news is defined shuts out information that people need to know – is it time to change the meaning of news?
The debate is long and never-ending. In the end it is the people themselves who will make the decision. The people whom we serve, on whose behalf we ask questions, for whose sake we strive to find out the truth.


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