Community Opinion

Melissa’s Musings

Information Overload

Posted 9/5/19

By Melissa Anderson

One of the perks of my job at the newspaper is that I can spend a lot of my time making sure that the articles I write are not only accurate with the most up-to-date information but also are thought out to have the most benefit to the reader. Weekly newspapers do not get enough credit for their ability to take current information and give it the chance to grow into something much more useful than just a headline.
Most news outlets focus on delivering the most up-to-date news first. The problem with that is it can sometimes be too soon for the information, and it ends up being inaccurate. That is the curse of the 24/7 news networks. Constant news sometimes means inaccurate news. Daily newspapers also tackle this problem. In attempts to make sure that daily news is relevant, the rush to produce content may leave much to be desired in terms of research.
On the flip-side of this barrage of information is the weekly newspaper’s curse of focusing on one topic only to have it be out-of-date by the time it gets to readers. The attempts to deliver relevant news is sometimes not possible because of how fast the world is moving in terms of development.
Complex topics also require even more thought and research. This leads to information overload. Imagine a funnel that has three or more streams trying to go though it- so much is relevant to the flow but only so much can go through. To have the best chance of delivering pertinent and relevant information in the form of a weekly newspaper is having the funnel be narrow enough to have a single focus but wide enough to have relevancy past the first few days of the reports that are sure to come from the constant news sources.
For the readers of weekly newspapers, it may seem odd to have a story that is nationally broadcasted constantly remain relevant when handled by a weekly news source. While some articles write themselves, others require more work. Thanks to information overload for me, as the conveyor of the news, the reader of the news will hopefully benefit and make the headache worth it.

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