According to experts, we may soon have a significant news shortage. A set of new reports, based on new studies, have warned that in coming months or years there may be less news or even no news at all.
Media is doing everything it can to address this problem. Articles are being written about events that are not really news, and even events that are news are being written about more than ever. And yet, the problem persists, and looks to be worsening. Why? “Because of weeks like this,” said one expert who asked not to be named. “There has been far too much news. Supply isn’t endless, you know.”
The expert, who requested anonymity under the theory that identifying him would be another piece of news (and, as a result, a contributor to the problem), pointed to a recent study that confirmed another recent study that suggested that this week contained more than two hundred percent more news than an average week. “This,” the expert said, “is alarming news for anyone concerned about the ongoing news supply.”
Other experts contend that the danger of a shortfall in future news supply should be seen as part of a larger problem. Rapid growth in events and steady expansion of coverage of those events is only half of the equation; there has also been a drastic increase in consumption on the part of readers and viewers. “Demand has to adjust, or be adjusted,” said another expert, also requesting anonymity. “The appetite for news has grown along with supply, which creates a kind of vicious cycle.”
Experts argue that the solution may result in aggressive, if temporary, news conservation. “After a week like this, it may be a relief to have a few weeks with no news at all,” said a third anonymous expert. Other experts disagree, warning of a hall-of-mirrors effect in which any period without news would be treated as a newsworthy phenomenon, thus creating both a paradox (how can there be a news shortage if there is so much news about the shortage?) and a self-fulfilling prophecy (a surplus of news about the absence of news will quickly result in further depletion).
“In the end,” added one of the anonymous experts, “it will be the end, and there’s nothing that can be done about that.”
Ben Greenman’s new novel, The Slippage, is out next month.