How much more did we learn about the Boston bombing by having 250,000 different reporters there?
I don’t want to do media criticism today, because I have no idea how it works or is supposed to work, or used to work, or will work in the future, even though I’ve spent a good number of years attached to the profession, appendix-like. But certain stories seem to hit the reporter-saturation point long before the hotels fill with tens of thousands of extra arrivals. “Big story” now is measured in aggregate reporter weight. (see Political Conventions).
Unlike the conventions, the bombing was real news. But events like the bombing are stories that it’s BETTER not to follow too closely. First reports should be ASSUMED to be wrong, because they so often are. I understand the desire to know what happened, but if you want to be WELL informed, it’s smarter to not to listen to every badly-sourced breaking tidbit. And having every loose reporter in the country on one story doesn’t help this. It’s like watching a little kids’ soccer game where all the kids are in a clump following the ball, and nobody playing their positions.
And speaking of other positions, I keep reading that local governments are not being covered well anymore, or sometimes at all. If a functioning democracy falls and no one is around to report it, did it happen? We may find out.