by Adam Finley
People receive information from hundreds of sources these days.
They watch television, surf the Internet, squint at their Palm Pilots, and a couple of people in Nebraska read the newspaper. This may seem like a good thing, but the harsh truth is that we have become so overloaded with information that our brains can’t handle it. We used to read the paper and walk away feeling informed and enlightened. Now by the end of the day our brains are packed full of blurbs, sound bites, and whatever Bill O’Reilly yelled about that day.
We could complain, or we could accept that journalism is now less a conduit for information and more of a dadaistic art form. That’s why I’ve created the New Journalism Game, which allows you to create your own headlines and news stories based on current events.
What you will need:
How to play:
Go to news.google.com
Roll the die
Click on the news story corresponding with that number (for example, if you rolled a 3, start at the top of the page and click on the third story down. Since Google’s news page is not displayed as a list, it’s up to your discretion where to begin and end counting).
Once you’ve opened the actual news story, roll the die again and go to the paragraph that corresponds with that number (example: You rolled a 2, go to the second paragraph).
Now roll the die again and copy/paste the first few words in the paragraph that correspond to that number into any text editor (example: you rolled a 6, copy and paste the first six words of that paragraph into your text editor).
Now repeat these steps, adding one phrase onto another until you have an eye-catching headline. You’re allowed to remove words and change punctuation, but you CANNOT add words of your own.
Now write an article based on your headline and post it on your blog. Congrats, you’re now a journalist.
Here are a few headlines I came up with:
The Labor Department substantially reduced Courtney Love
Doctors in an unusual move promenade in Haifa
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who holds senior space agency officials, decided members of the seven regional Italian riot police clashed
SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Limbaugh said Philadelphia’s defense, not Vin Diesel, has dropped out of VeriSign
Where is Saddam Hussein?
Where in the illusionist was the Pope’s meeting?