Entertaining News

I used to dread Dunia Wiki Hii. To my mind, it represented news culture as a whole, and it was dull, boring, and poke-your-eye-out unwatchable. I could not understand my parents’ desire to watch news and dreaded that growing up meant I would acquire dull tastes, become dull, be dull all around.

Something changed.

I cannot claim to be a news junkie, but I go through my 5-6 daily news sources, ranging from the national (U.S. & Kenya) to higher ed (Inside Higher Ed, Chronicle of Higher Ed) to more opinion/lifestyle type sources (Salon, Slate). On an average day, I devote approximately 2 hours on news—this, of course, gets far crazier for “special” occasions.

But this is only obliquely about me. It’s not simply that I grew up and became dull (I am), but that news itself changed.

It is unremarkable to claim that news now considers itself to be competing with entertainment. Gone are the days of the dour, sour, and all-too-serious anchors. Today, they announce hurricanes with a smile and rival stars in looks.

What seems to be remarkable is that this happened within my lifetime. News became less dull, became entertaining and provocative. In some strange way, as I grew up, news regressed.