Monday, October 19, 2009

Is the balloon boy news?

Now that we've heard every detail of the Heene family and the Balloon Boy saga, the media is doing its job and turning the magnifying glass on itself. I've seen several cable news reports and editorials examining the way the media covered the event.

My favorite line came from a talking head on a cable news program, who said that since the whole incident was nothing but a hoax, essentially "The whole world watched a balloon floating in the air for three hours."

That same segment questioned whether the story was really news.

You bet your ass it's news.

It's news because people are interested in it, some - including myself - downright fascinated.

It's news because, as one paper estimated, as much as $2 million was spent in the rescue efforts.

It's news because one American family, with little more than a jumbo-sized role of aluminum foil and a helium tank, was able to capture the attention of the nation.

And it's news because thousands of people in Denver and millions more around the globe, either through prayers, ideas or actions, came together to help save a little boy in trouble.

Just because he wasn't really in trouble doesn't mean it's not news.

I'd love to hear what John has to say about this, as well as any of our other readers with connections to the news business.

--Matt Kelsey

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