Human interest is not very interesting.
I have a hard time watching local news broadcasts after the second commercial break. Generally, that’s when the networks turn to human interest stories.
I guess I should care, but generally, I don’t. I can’t help but think that I wouldn’t have seen this news any other way and, therefore, it’s not that important.
One day it’s a story about a cat that was stuck in a wall. I love cats, but I imagine that if I heard every quirky cat story, I wouldn’t. How did the broadcasters choose this story? Surely, proximity was a factor. But should that make me more interested?
The next day, it’s a story about an elderly woman without air conditioning. Am I jaded? The anchors don’t solicit my help. As a matter of fact, they explain how church volunteers bought and installed window units. Problem solved? Yes! Interest generated? Not so much. At a minimum, I agree that the volunteers deserve praise, but I imagine that each would dismiss it.
Maybe there’s a story about a man who is frequently mistaken for George W. Bush. Or maybe a man is fired from his Santa Claus job because he refuses to work on Christmas Day. Local high school sports star gives blood. Doctor donates aspirin to senior center.
There’s a reason these stories are relegated to the end of the broadcast. Most of the time they feel like filler, as if there wasn’t enough real news to fill the 25-minute broadcast.
Maybe it’s an inside joke. Maybe it’s how old journalists haze new journalists. Actually, if that were true, I might be slightly interested.
The cat was fine, by the way.