Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Advice for annoying newspaper columnists: Drop dead

"Advice for frustrated job hunters: Stay focused." This was the headline of an article in a recent Snohomish County newspaper. Pathetic excuse for journalism, if you ask me. Advice as general as "focus" can be extended to virtually every problem, every facet of life. Here are a few I came up with: "Advice for absent-minded professors: Stay focused." "Advice for struggling high school students: Stay focused." "Advice for easily distracted alligator trainers: Stay focused."

I realize there is a limited amount of detail one can put into a headline, but come on folks, can't we do better than this? There is a disturbing trend in the modern media to create news based on the obvious, self-evident truths we call common sense. I attribute this to a certain laziness on the part of journalists, who no longer do the difficult research and analysis that leads to those counter-intuitive insights that readers find interesting.

"Advice for anyone who faces any particular challenge, difficulty, trial, or speed bump in the road of Life: Stay focused." And while focused, keep a focus on the lesser-known phenomena that make life interesting.

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