How good are journalists at tracking down and filtering important events? The first internet browser appeared on 11 November 1993 — probably the most significant invention of the twentieth century, after the atomic bomb and the discovery of antibiotics. Do you know what that browser was called? Mosaic. If you didn’t know the answer, you have a good excuse: it didn’t make the news. What were the lead stories on German television that day? Party funding was being reformed. The Israeli prime minister had a meeting with Bill Clinton. The Pope had fractured his shoulder. My point os that neither journalists nor consumers have much sense of what’s relevant.
The relationship between relevance and media attention seems inverse: the greater the fanfare in the news, the smaller the relevance of the event. Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that the items journalists don’t report on are usually the very things you actually want to know!
The press. — If we consider how even now all great political occurrences creep on to the stage silent and shrouded, how they are concealed by insignificant events and seem small in proximity to them, how it is not until long after they have happened that their profound effects are felt and the ground trembles — what significance can we then accord the press as it is now, with its daily expenditures of lungpower on exclaiming, deafening, inciting, shocking — is it anything more than the permanent false alarm that leads ears and senses off in the wrong direction?
— Nietzsche, “Assorted Opinions and Maxims,” Human, All Too Human