A pop quiz: What is news?

Of late, I’ve been finding myself trying to guess which stories will garner media attention, and those which will slip through the cracks. And of late, I’ve been doing worse and worse.

So, here’s an idea: I’m going to put out a News Director quiz. I’ll describe two stories, and you get to guess which one is more news-worthy.

1. A) An ambassador nominee is accused of yelling at subordinates decades ago.
B) A former National Security Advisor pleads guilty to stealing and destroying highly classified documents from the National Archives.

2) A) The House Majority leader is accused (but not formally charged) with violating House ethics rules.
B) A top aide to a powerful senator (with ties to a second powerful senator) is being tried on charges of violating Federal fund-raising laws for said senator.

3) A) A fifth-tier journalist with a White House day pass has a past as a gay escort.
B) The main anchor for a major television network uses fraudulent documents in an attempt to sway a presidential election.

Part II of the test is a common-sense test.

4) Areas with strict gun-control laws have much higher rates of violent crime than places with looser gun-control laws. This means that in order to decrease crime, those places with high rates should:
A) Make the gun control laws stricter; or
B) Make them laxer?

5) Areas with the worst education scores are also those who spend the most on education. Conversely, those who spend the least have much higher academic scores. If those first places wish to improve their educational system, they should:
A) Spend even more money; or
B) Spend less?

6) The United Nations has an astonishing record of ineffectuality, incompetence, corruption, and outright venality. What sort of person should the President appoint as Ambassador?
A) Someone who will go there and attempt to curry favor and speak kindly to the entrenched kleptocrats and confirmed enemies of the United States; or
B) A career diplomat who is on record as speaking plainly and openly about the institution’s shortcoming?

I gotta admit, I failed this test miserably.

Losing my cool
Tierney Vs. Krugman

19 Comments

  1. Jay Tea April 27, 2005
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