News is typically information about current affairs. This can be given through several media: print, newspaper, broadcasting, televised, or by the oral testimony of witnesses and observers to current events. It can also be a variety of other things such as sports statistics, weather reports, and movie reviews. News is often updated and altered on a daily basis. Today we have all the means through which we can get news. There are also news channels on the radio and television that give us the latest in world news.
The business world is fast paced with countless tasks to accomplish daily. And because of this, organizations have become increasingly dependent upon news organizations for their latest information on each of these tasks. For example, it has been estimated that the average American is unaware that the U.S. Federal Reserve plans to raise interest rates. Only a few months ago, most people were unaware that the Fed was even considering raising rates. This news release provided the necessary link between the two events for the average person to make an informed decision regarding the impending increase in interest rates.
Organizations also depend upon news outlets for breaking stories that affect their business. Take the recent uprising in Egypt. Most people had tuned into the nightly news only to be shocked and appalled at the behavior of the Egyptian citizens. Then, all of a sudden, there were reports that the mutinous Egyptians had taken to the streets in large numbers, torching down hotels and killing those who refused to join them. The world was not slow in reacting to this news and putting the two events side by side.
The same thing happened after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Many residents were terrified and many more tuned into the nightly news. However, a few days later, there was another massive tropical storm making its way towards the Southeastern United States. This time, there was no news about the huge rainfall amounts, winds, and floods that had devastated the state just a few short weeks before. As if nobody was watching, the storm quickly picked up strength and dissipated without hurting any major cities in the United States.
Another example of the power of news is the recent outbreak of the Lyme Disease. A quick look at the headlines on many news websites show the number of cases that have been reported in various areas across the country. This has prompted many doctors to warn people that they may have come into contact with a case of the disease which could easily be the result of a tick bite.
So are the days of the simple newspaper or television news dying? Time is a fluid thing and news travels fast. It is not unreasonable to assume that within a matter of days, news sources all over the United States will have reported on a new outbreak of a deadly disease. Could we be prepared for such a massive global pandemic? If not, then maybe we should all be thankful for the many resources that are available to us for our collective security.