Samuel Johnson The Idler No.30

After reading Samuel Johnson’s The Idler No. 30, I realized what he states is the truth. Johnson writes on how people are no longer satisfied with one piece of news everyday. Instead, everyone wants multiple news stories. However, Johnson says that people do not care about news that deals with peace and happiness. Instead, people only want to know about war, ad who is fighting and who is victorious and who is conquered. Johnson also points out that many of the writers are telling lies, and that he does not know which one is better: “…and i know not whether more is to be dreaded from streets filled with soldiers accustomed to plunder, or from garrets filled with scribblers accustomed to lie.” (Johnson 664).

I think this is important to note because, even today, Johnson has a point. People, both in the past and today, have a tendency to only care about about the tragedies and worrying news. For example, if you turn on a news section, most of the news you see is negative. You seldom see positive news.

Johnson is also right about writers being accustomed to lie, which is what we call gossip nowadays. People want the juicy details in a story, such as who broke up with how. People do not care if someone helped a old lady cross the street. People would view news like that as a waste of time.

So, in my opinion, Johnson was on to something. Humans as a species keep demanding more, and they want the interesting and/or tragedy stories. I leave you with this question: Would the world be a better place with or without news?

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