CNN, FoxNews capitalizes on missing plane, re-reporting old news

Lyndsie Yamrus, Senior Opinion Editor

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 and the world cannot get enough of the story.

People turn on the news to watch major disastrous events all the time, for example, the recent Washington landslide and the 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Chile. But it’s the most bizarre, unthinkable and unexplainable events that for some reason grab our attention the most.

Perhaps this is because it is very, very interesting how in the 21st century, a Boeing 777 passenger airliner can simply disappear from the sky and leave virtually no trace of itself.

How do you lose a commercial jetliner? Tens of thousands of commercial flights depart daily both domestically and internationally, so this one of many questions that we all would like to know the answer to.

Families of the 239 passengers and crewmembers continue to grieve tirelessly as sparse information is trickled out to them. The experience is no doubt unbearable for many.

Of course, any information is better than no information at this point, but half or more of the “Breaking News” spit out daily by the media isn’t really breaking anymore.

“Families demand answers” reads a headline, as if they weren’t demanding answers three weeks ago.

CNN has been one of the primary contributors of MH370 news. Again, humans are drawn to mysterious and inexplicable occurrences, so the news sources’ efforts are not unappreciated.

More than half of news viewers actually believe that enough coverage is being given to the event, if not enough.

Weekly average ratings are also around the same, if not higher, than they were during the last presidential election, media writer Andrew Beaujon mentioned in an interview.

There’s definitely an audience for this news, and CNN is not going to give up this story because, let’s face it, ratings are in the mix and when you’re subsequent to FOXNews, you’ll do what you can to keep up.

So they keep talking about it. Then they’ll simulate, theorize, guess and calculate different things twice or more to keep the story alive.

But the accumulation of speculations and calculations by CNN since the plane’s disappearance has generated this hodgepodge of contradicting information.

The news source is too quick to speak out on emerging events, and the following day you’ll have a correction or a completely different statement. If all else fails, they will talk about ocean trash.

Common filler statements like, “There’s a lot of speculation,” “There are many theories,” “We don’t have a lot of evidence” and “It could be intentional or accidental” are all more or less words to say “We don’t know.”

OK, so, we don’t know about the plane. We haven’t known for over four weeks now. How about covering something we DO know?

It is important for the news to tell the story and to update the public on new developments and pertinent details related to the search. This doesn’t mean rehash the same stale thoughts and theories three times daily.

There are far more important news stories to cover at this point than what can be theorized from zero evidence.