If It Wasn’t Reported, Did It Happen?
Since last week’s planetary encounter with faerie dust, the world finds itself serendipitously relieved of all ills, and quite literally living in a post-news environment. Planes henceforth will been entirely timely, and the FAA has disbanded, noting there is no possibility of future crashes.
Closer to home, a new two lane bridge has appeared alongside the old historic one, and pixies are now volunteering to fund local schools, while local homelessness has resolved itself. On the latter point, members of the Facebook group “Corvallis Looks Like Rainbows and Butterflies” were skeptical – posts appeared and were later deleted asserting that the disappearance of the homeless coincided with the brief appearance of several upmarket luxury busses around shelters and known campsites. Nobody has seen the busses since.
Advocate publisher Steve Schultz issued a statement on Wednesday saying, “Obviously, if news was still occurring, people would be pressuring local businesses to support local media with their ad buys.”
Schultz went on to say the paper would shift its resources to reprinting press releases from local beverage manufacturers about their newest flavors – and of course, reporting whatever seems snarkiest on local Facebook groups.
The Pew Research Center notes that in our post-news world, this could be a productive direction for newspapers, as they’ve found that humans overwhelmingly like “drinking“ as well as “flavors.“ The poll also notes that information can strain some brains beyond their limits, so it may be preferable for people to formulate their viewpoints, and base their votes, on whoever wins the latest keyboard wars on social media.
Pew also found that the disappearance of news in newspapers could be a boon to the wellbeing of local communities, noting that public officials are more honest and make better informed decisions when nobody is “snooping in their business.“
While embracement of a post-news world has been almost universal, members of the Facebook group “Pain–in–the–Neck Fact–Based Corvallisites“ have taken a different view, even going so far as to update their community guidelines to assert, “Just because it wasn’t reported, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”
One member of the group was so incensed that they demanded a comment from Lee Enterprises, owner of the Albany Democrat-Herald/Corvallis Gazette-Times/Texas Chainsaw Tribune. Surprisingly, Lee replied, “Wait, what’s a Corvallis?”
Later, Lee Executive Chair Mary E. Junck issued a statement saying, “News is stupid, it costs money, I like my salary, and journalism has disappeared because the faerie dust is real.” Junck does like her salary. According to Lee’s latest SEC filing, she’s currently compensated $1,455,728 yearly.
Not deterred in their skepticism, members of Pain–in–the–Neck Fact–Based Corvallisites have threatened to purchase Corvallis Advocate subscriptions en masse. They have also said they plan to hold local businesses accountable for committing their ad spend to homegrown media.
Satire by Andy Thompson