Even as a defacto member of the media, I hold a deep resentment for it. It seems that the more access we have to information, the more we are inundated with the same news items. How many people do we have missing right now? Natalee Holloway, George Allen Smith IV, Ray F. Gricar, Mark & Laura Vockery, Latoyia Figueroa, Fiona Faulkes, Helen Kelley... heck, there are even missing jurors, missing park rangers, missing boaters and a missing Sudanese VP. There were 9335 people reported missing in one state in Australia last year. We currently have more than 15,000 U.S. citizens missing abroad. Yet, we focus on just a few because the media wants stories that will make urge you to tune in.
It seems we also forget that some people "walk out" on life. They leave parents, husbands, wives, children and jobs to just be anywhere else. The nation went nuts wondering what happened to the Runaway bride but for absolutely no reason. What happens when we focus on each one that doesn't leave a note?
I think local journalism works as well nationally as local weather would. It only matters if you go or have family there. Sure, it's important to try to find missing people but what good does it do to focus 70% of news national news time on something you have little chance of affecting. For example, Aruba is quite a ways away from Vegas. It might keep pressure on an outside government and keep people from spending their tourist dollars there though. But, I think there should be a show like America's Most Wanted for missing people. Spend an hour a week focusing on these stories. But, as long as people are interested and keep watching there will always be a focus on the next missing person and there will always be another one.