(un)common ground

a commonplace book

TV News and Day-to-day Thinking

This inattention to nuance [in television journalism] both repeats and reinforces the structural amnesia induced by day-to-day thinking and by the competition that equates what’s important with what’s new–the scoop.

Pierre Bourdieu, On Television (1998)

I really appreciate the concept of “day-to-day thinking” that Bourdieu introduces here, though doesn’t really expand upon.

Equally applicable to Internet media, I think this passage may serve as a warning post against overexposure to the news? Day-to-day thinking–if its subsequent amnesia is indeed something to beware–could be disrupted by daily intake. Perhaps this is in some ways impossible. But I would think it possible to extract oneself at least from the scoop cycle, in which a story stays in the news constantly, even when there is nothing really new to report besides details that have no bearing on our real knowledge or relation to the event in question (or sometimes not even that)… For, at a certain point, the amnesia manifests as forgetfulness of the reason why we are watching this story unfold in the first place. The structural amnesia gives way to a teleological amnesia: why are you even watching this? The end is not information, but the news itself; endless scoops subsume the subject. The means becomes the end.


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This entry was posted on November 17, 2015 by and tagged , , , .
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