The Onion News: 'Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere' (Video)
"Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere": The Onion News Network
The Onion is featuring an item titled Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere, which breaks down the anatomy of a time-filler newscast. This video makes the perfect companion for Charlie Brooker's earlier video:
The parody video features actual news footage of a baby bear running through a residential neighborhood, pointing out:
- The use of news-media resources to cover a fairly commonplace occurrence
- The treatment of that occurrence as hard news
- Interviewing pretty people for their reactions
- Cutting away to a spurious "expert"
- Uniformed personnel standing around with their backs to the camera
- Redundant Powerpoint-style charts and graphics
- Emails from viewers that add nothing of value to the topic at hand
Unlike the web, whose pages can stay static-- and side by side-- forever, news shows must keep moving, even when there's nothing on hand to talk about.
24-hour networks have a much tougher job, and often simply repeat their stories; you will notice that the "breaking news" logo seems stuck to each item as well: when all stories are breaking, then no stories are breaking.
You can try this by keeping a 24-hour news channel on in the background: keep an ear out for repetition, and for stories on subjects that were covered online a few days ago.
It isn't that TV networks are bad while Web sources are good, but that creating TV content takes more people and more resources: if you only have the resources to cover, say, 15 stories in a news cycle, then you will inevitably end up with dead air, so you have to fill the space with either a repetition or something that is quick and easy to produce.
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Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada