While I'm carrying on about the state of the Internet, thought I would add another bit. I have ranted many times in the past about what passes for news these days. Who won on American Idol is given more play time than the death of a soldier in Iraq or truly important events that will change and shape our world. This has long been the case on TV, and is rapidly becoming the case on the radio. As such I have turned to the net to get my news. This is bringing into focus another disturbing trend however. It seems that reading the news online is becoming less and less of an option. The big news sites such as CNN and MSNBC as well as many of the local news sites I visit all have videos of the top news stories, but often not text versions of them. Most of the time I don't want to watch a video of the news, I want to read it. I've been reading for a long time, I'm good at it, I like it. I don't need flashy site design or attractive presenters spoon feeding me my information. The text articles are usually watered down enough, but the video versions manage to remove even more information from the clips and move it more towards the realm of entertainment than informative reporting. I don't mind that the video versions are there, but why isn't text of every story presented as well?
My guess is that the average person these days can't be bothered to fire up enough neurons to actually read a story when they could be looking at the pretty pictures instead. All a part of the continuing dumbing down of our society.
Of all the major players only the BBC seems to be not going with this trend. While they have videos of some news stories, pretty much everything is presented in a readable format. They also seems to have a little bit more substantial content, less focused on what Paris Hilton is doing and more on important issues. It is really sad that I have to go to a foreign news service to get decent news about my own country though. A quick check shows that NPR also has most of its content presented in text, but I don't lean far enough to the left to stomach them for long.
Of course this blog post is even more pointless than most. To reach the audience that needs it most I would need a video of it.