2005 is already overPosted: January 5, 2005
I was unfortunate enough to be ill on Monday. This was not the after effects of too much celebration over the New Year but rather a stomach bug that confined me to my bed for 24 hours. During my vaguely awake moments I surfed through the news channels on TV as my wife and children passed messages under the door – messages like: “are you hungry?” and “hello daddy, are you alive?” I didn’t respond to any of these in a bid to see if any of them would dare open the door.
During my day-time TV surfing I was relieved to learn that 2005 was essentially all over from a financial perspective. The stock watchers on CNN and CNBC both made confident calls on what would happen to the market overall for the full year and cited many notable economists to back their perspectives. Of course I’m not going to share these predictions for the simple reason that they were total BS. Even the reporter on CNBC giving the predictions admitted that when they did the same piece a year ago they’d made a hash of it. So it occurred to me, why do this piece if you know it’s garbage? The answer is of course that we all want to know what will happen in the future and we want someone with authority to tell us so we can tell others. And of course when we meet our friends and say “according to CNN the stock market is going to see a rise of x% this year,” we’ll sound like we know what we’re talking about. But then again, if we’d actually watched the piece we’d know that they used so many caveats in their reports that they could have said the market was going to do anything.
All of which poses a question in my mind. Is the media just trying to fulfill the role we want it to in our lives or does it have a serious agenda? Surely we don’t want flakey content just to support interesting issues so we ca sound intelligent to our friends and colleagues? OK, I’m being silly here I know. Of course the media is trying to respond to our wishes, after all it’s a business and businesses do want their customers want (most of the time). I just thought I’d raise the flag at the start of a New Year and remind us all that the media could do so much more. Instead of meaningless star gazing and speculation the media could do real analysis of events so we learn. If they did that more then perhaps Donald Trump would be forced to go back to being a businessman instead of a TV personality and instead of the Apprentice we’d get some real TV.
Happy New Year!