Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The bigger view

   It is the basic  nature of homo sapiens to impose a sense of meaning and order to their world.
   Especially when the world around them makes no sense.

   Which is how and why, even though every American saw repeated televised images of the World Trade Center Disaster, newspapers across the nation sold untold thousands of extra copies that "froze " the horror of the event with words and pictures.
   This is a familiar phenomenon for most print journalists.
    In South Florida, for example,newspaper sales soar following a hurricane -- despite the exhaustive coverage of the storm (before, during and after) by local television stations.
    Again, this need to "freeze" horrific events in amid the chaos of reality is the reason we find brittle, yellowing pages announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor in dusty attic boxes -- generations after the start of the Second World War.
   And also how and why we find brittle obituaries of long dead unknown relatives tucked in a grandparent's family Bible. 
   While none of this has anything to do with Journalism 101's traditional explanation for the dynamics behind the so-called news of the day, Sarah Snuff's brief death notice has everything to do with Abraham Maslow.

   Stay tuned!

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