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The Last Word (almost)


Almost-news is a message that does not sufficiently inform. "Tornado in the area, more at eleven." Almost-news might be an important message that is not sufficiently researched, or it could be more like something else (entertainment or advertising) than news. Someone might also call real news "almost-news" if that was the fifteenth time they'd heard the same information.


1. Almost-entertainment: Almost "not news," and much more like entertainment, and a diversion away from what might be important to know. ("Newsertainment," or something for amusement, or vicarious gratification. Perhaps: a missing persons reports, or something about a celebrity's dog.)

2. Almost-advertising: Not so much "news" as "advertising" that is relayed by the media as news because it is considered "important information." (For example: news about new products by major companies, where the announcer reads the company "press release" almost verbatim.)

3. Almost-education: Not so much "news" as "education." A news show recounting a story no-one cares about because of the "lesson." (Also, detective show and sit-com discussions related to where existing moral and legal lines are drawn.)

4. Almost-propaganda: Not so much news as the promotion of ideas to further an agenda, rather than a recounting of something that just happened. As events happen they can be shown to be illustrative of a point, usually: "This is the kind of thing we are trying to crack down on," or "We have the solution right here," and "Vote for me and there will be more [or less] of this."

5. Almost-recapitulation: Almost nothing new. (Most of what happens changes gradually, so each time you hear a tiny bit more, along with all the old news.) Sometimes it's just a question of research not being done yet because of limited research time, air time, or resources. Maybe someone needs react-time.

6. Almost-history: Nothing new. Maybe something has happened to a key player in a previously important story, and the announcer needs to explain why they were important. (The news story is so old that the History channel has already done a documentary on it.)

7. Insufficient news: News that merely scratches the surface, or deliberately avoids stepping on toes or questioning authority. Maybe all the alternatives are not discussed openly.


There have always been "real" news outlets. Today, many people prefer to select blends or slants on the "news" they get, and news filters and menus are popular on the internet sources.

You see more almost-news on a slow news day. News organizations have fixed time-slots to fill, so they turn to the almost-limitless supply of almost-news.

Many people actually prefer almost-news to the real thing. We seem to have an insatiable desire to know about sports news, what the movie stars are doing, local bake sales, and such.



Almost-News Comment The Onion The Babylon Bee If it's not news, it's FARK E Online Splash News Online TMZ Hollywood Life Bollywood


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Don't knock it, almost-news is usually better than real news.


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