What should be considered news?

With the long overdue end to the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial finally upon us, we can’t help ut ask the question—why was this news?
What is it about seeing people’s personal lives and salacious details played out on TV that is so enthralling for some people? Many people have used the age-old comparison to a car wreck in that you don’t really want to look at it as you drive by it, but you really can’t look away.
There are literally thousands of people walking the streets right now who couldn’t tell you who the Speaker of the House is for the U.S. House of Representatives, who couldn’t tell you the name of a single member of their city council, and who couldn’t tell you how a bill becomes a law. Ask them about how Amber Heard defecates on her bed, though, and they can talk to you for hours on end.
So what is news? I guess that is truly in the eye of the beholder. For some, Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard is news. To us, it’s not. It’s tabloid fodder, it’s gossip, it’s “Jersey Shore.” It can be entertaining, for sure, but let’s be honest—it’s vapid nonsense that doesn’t affect a single one of us. Maybe the fact that it doesn’t affect us is the appeal. It’s an escape from whatever is going on in our lives. If we read about the bad things that are going on in our town, it can make us feel bad. If we read about how bad Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were to each other, well that’s just twisted entertainment. What they did to each other has no bearing on you. You’re detached from it. You can turn it on or off at a moment’s notice. That can’t be said for the problems in your town, or more specifically, in your life.
You won’t find any reports on Amber and Johnny in this paper. Well, unless you count this column. We are more apt to stick to the bread and butter, government stories from the Custer City Council, Custer County Commission, Custer School District Board of Education, and even some news from other towns in the county from time to time. It seems the more Hermosa grows, the more we are writing about what is going on in that town. We certainly expect that trend to continue.
From time to time, people ask us why we don’t cover stories that are national. The short answer is, we are a local newspaper. If there is a national story on which we can put a local spin (like we did with the war in Ukraine) we will certainly do that. But we do have the resources or manpower to cover stories like that. Besides, we are a weekly paper. You can read about all of that in weekly papers or any number of news sites online. We like to stick to local information and events that affect the people in our community and region.
What is news is subjective. But we feel it’s the stories that matter to the people who matter to us. Amber vs. Johnny doesn’t quite make the cut. We sure are glad it’s over, though!


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