What is the news?
The news is a complicated series of interlocking gears, gyrating around a glowing ball of knowledge in the heart of our nation’s capital; Auckland. The news is a rhombus, a sort of black stew with carrot and a hint of vinegar.
The news is a window into another world, one occasionally based on our own. The news is what shapes us. The news is what drives us.
But it’s not just a car; it’s a carefully refined gluten-free recipe oozing with nutrients and left over dates from Mike Hosking’s breakfast. It isn’t just a wall of arms reaching into our everyday lives and taking our jam; it’s Christmas confetti, poured over a $60 lamp to make it look interesting.
News is a vital part of our society, and without the news, our modern democracy would cease to function. If there were no news, cute and vulnerable animals would go unrecognised, commentators would unload their analysis on their own families, and quirky small businesses would have to actually pay for advertising.
In a world with no news, busy mums and dads would have to make up something to be faux outraged about, instead of just being told where their taxes are going. Students and lecturers would have to step outside just to know what the weather was like today, and John Campbell would never have achieved his dream of becoming a Mazda salesman.
In the western world, it’s easy to take the news for granted; to know that you’ll be able to come home after work, sit down and watch Simon Dallow tell you what new fad is all the rage with the kids these days. But it hasn’t always been like that, and it’s important to remember that it mightn’t be, if not for the work of our brave newsmen and women.
On April 18th, 1930, in the United Kingdom, the BBC was forced to inform the public that there was no news. And such a dark day this was in the history of Britain, that from that day onward, journalists of all stripes around the world vowed that they would never allow this to happen again.
It is because of the sacrifice of these journalists that we have the news we enjoy today. It is because of their endless efforts to create the news, by travelling abroad, hanging around outside police stations, eating spicy food on the breakfast broadcast, and establishing familiarity with people who don’t matter, so that when they die, there will be news.
In some countries, there is no news. In many places in Africa – in Sudan, Eritrea, Swaziland and the other one – where people have no televisions, no radios, no microwave ovens (or at least none with a warranty), there are no evening weather bulletins, no offensive tweets, and no small animals stuck in drainage pipes. Instead there is war, famine, and important social and ecological issues that demand real solutions; the very opposite of news.
In New Zealand, we are lucky. We have none of those things, and as a result, we have news in abundance.
What is the Civilian?
The Civilian is New Zealand’s pre-eminent source of online news, and indeed the purest form of news that you can consume without having an apoplectic seizure.
Most newspapers in our country focus on the delivery of what they call “news and information.” But here at the Civilian, we’re different. We work hard to provide you with as little information as possible, so that we can focus solely upon the news.