“THE NEWS IS WHAT WE SAY IS NEWS”
“But you have to print this story,” said my father. “It is news.”
“Wrong,” said the newspaper editor. “The news is what we say is news.”
That conversation took place forty years ago. What the editor said is still true today. The news is what we say is news.
My father was a public school trustee. Based upon information from him and several brave Catholic parents, a reporter wrote a news story. This story was about a Catholic priest threatening Catholic parents for sending their children to a public school instead of a Catholic school. The priest told the parents that he would make sure that they and their children went to Hell unless they sent their children to a Catholic school. The reporter called my father the night before that story was to be published. She said that the editors “killed the story.”
My father and some Catholic parents went to the newspaper to protest, but to no avail. The story remained dead. No doubt the Catholic Church pressured the newspaper to kill the story.
Within months of the newspaper killing this story, the priest was caught having sex with a teenage girl. This also did not make the news, and he was not charged. The Catholic Church transferred him to another parish.
The news is what we say is news.”
I keep this quote in mind when watching the news and reading the newspapers. What isn’t being reported? What news stories did the media kill because of pressure?