What ever happened to …?

It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.
Jerry Seinfeld

One of the tragic things about our ways of dealing with news, and the news media in general, is just how quickly issues vanish. I mean, there are certain news sites, including the pretty biased spiegel.de (German site) who do some follow up, but these are the exceptions. And the follow ups only concern a minority of topics.

Other topics?

Well, they are forgotten quickly.

It’s not foul play — necessarily — just that too much happens too frequently.

I was reminded of this when watching a video about Sam Harris and the Charlie Hebdo shootings. Remember them? They were kinda big news:

But it also applies to other issues as well. The best thing any person or company can do these days is just ignore public outcry. Most likely, it will fade. I mean, a couple of weeks ago a (female) German professor ostensibly wrote in an eMail to a (male) Indian applicant:

“Many female professors in Germany decided to no longer accept male Indian students for these reasons [incidents of rape in India], and currently other European female association are joining.”

and there is an impressive lack of follow-up on her comments. Even if they were taking out of context, is there really a gentlewoman’s agreement to exclude certain groups of people based on a combination of gender and nationality? Despite this usually being strongly discouraged by German society (and courts!)?

I think news media is doing a huge disservice, not only to their readers/listeners, but also to the world, when they do not follow up, when they do not hold people who commit wrongdoings responsible in the long term.

Frankly, I think there is a need for a news service that follows up on these issues. A service where people can subscribe to, pay money to, to be informed days to weeks to months later of whatever happened to these issues they cared about when they heard of them.

That would be an interesting and impressive creative project.