Serendipitous News

by Dan Ward

Great column by L. Gordon Crovitz in Monday’s Wall Street Journal lamenting the loss of “serendipity” as more people make the switch from traditional media to online media sources, and no longer “discover” news that might be important to them.

As Crovitz writes, “While digital media have given us access to endless information from diverse sources, many of us focus our news habits on narrow topics and familiar points of view … In short, we have more information but less understanding.”

How true.  It’s so easy to customize news sources online that you can choose to receive only news on topics or issues that interest you. 

Learning more about things you want to know about is fine, but it’s just as important, if not more, to learn about the things you need to know about.  As Crovitz puts it, “how do you discover what you don’t know you want to know?”

That’s why, even as I complain about the changes at my hometown newspaper, I still read it cover-to-cover every morning.  If I filtered my news, I might not have chosen to learn about the coming wave of commercial property foreclosures, but I feel more informed having read about the issue.

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