Glitz and glamour have taken over news worthy stories

Top news is no longer what’s the timeliest, the most relevant or the most impactful. Nowadays top news deals with whatever is flashiest, sexiest and can sell the most.

On my Yahoo home page I have a featured news widget and top stories boxes. The featured news is the one that includes a scroll box with stories and pictures. That’s also the one focusing mainly on articles that ask readers which celebrity wore a dress better and other celebrity gossip. Earth to Yahoo, that should not be featured news.

The top stories box, on the other hand, contains U.S. news, world news and all of the things that actually have an impact on lives. It also has a smaller font size, no attention grabbing graphics and is crammed into a smaller space. Even when I move that box above the featured news box my attention is taken away from it with bold headlines and eye-catching images.

At first I thought that perhaps the problem lay with the people who read the news. Perhaps people just don’t care about bigger problems in the world, but instead celebrity gossip and superficial stories. Stories that don’t say anything other than what might have been said or what could happen, like Justin Bieber’s paternity case.

Spending even a minute in the comments sections of those articles restored my faith in humanity when I saw numerous comments saying that such articles aren’t news, and more important things are going on.

I understand the idea behind not making the pepper spraying incident at the University of California, Davis featured news on a site that gives news on a level meant for more nationwide attention, but people care about these incidents, whether it’s in close proximity to them or not.

I hadn’t even heard about the incident the day it happened, because I tend to miss actual news when I just see the scroll box. I found out about it before going to bed the next day when I hopped onto Tumblr, a social blogging site, and saw person after person from various parts of the country reblogging the photos and spreading awareness for the injustices on the Davis campus.

Clearly people care about news, and to me it’s clear that news doesn’t care about people anymore.

Yes, stories are being written about budget cuts and police brutality, but it shouldn’t be up to readers alone to garner attention for these things. News outlets should be featuring news, and not just gossip.

On the front page of MSN, rather than feature their stories on worsening U.S.-Pakistan relations, or even something about holiday sales—which does actually affect people’s lives—they feature stories about celebrity socialites you may not know as well as Paris Hilton.

Looking flashy and being up to date with pop culture to try and garner readership shouldn’t outweigh news judgment. Clearly mainstream news sources need to get back to the basics and remember their news values, most importantly the impact stories have on people’s lives.