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Thomas de Zengotita Headshot

Malaysia Flight 370 or Russia and Ukraine?

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Malay flight 370 is some kind of random event. However interesting as sheer narrative, it has no long term consequences. Events in Ukraine, Russia, Crimea are evolving, potentially world changing developments.

How to account for the massively disproportionate coverage across every mass media outlet over the last few days? That's easy -- and it testifies to a frightening fact about the corporate infrastructure that gives us our news today:

Coverage of flight 370 involves the following resources: 1) cool maps and tech pings 2) suspenseful anchor announcements and 3) an endless supplies of "experts" who work for free.

Serious coverage of the Ukraine, Russia, Crimea situation would require the following resources: 1) battalions of expensive reporting teams on the ground 2) lengthy accounts of the region's history by real experts who can't do soundbites 3) a willingness by news organizations to broadcast stuff they know is really important, but might be boring to most people in their audience.

Numbers 1 and 3 seal the deal. And Twitter and Facebook cannot, and never will, make up the difference...