Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

You Decide What’s Significant

Staying informed is work. 

Just today, world leaders are meeting at the 201 NATO summit. Danish football player Christian Eriksen collapsed in yesterday’s football match against Finland. Israel has a new prime minister. Bitcoin jumps after Elon Musk says Tesla will accept the cryptocurrency as currency. And over 350,000 people in Ethiopia’s Tigray region are facing starvation.

The news cycle is so fast that it’s almost impossible to keep up with.

But it wasn’t always like that.

91 years ago, on 18 April 1930, the BBC reported there was no news and simply played piano music for the entire 15-minute segment.

Let that sink in for a moment.

On this particular day in April, the BBC thought there was nothing going on in the world that was significant enough to report. 

Which seems unbelievable in our modern eyes almost a century later where constant news consumption is the norm.

It just goes to show how much the news has changed. Because obviously plenty of things were happening in and around Britain back then.

The BBC simply had a very different view on reporting than most news broadcasters have today. Instead of giving the audience the choice to decide what was and wasn’t important, the BBC decided for you.

If a news item wouldn’t somehow enrich the life of a properly cultured British citizen, it would be discarded. Even if that meant there was no news at all.

On 18 April 1930, the BBC believed that 15 minutes of Wagner’s opera Parsifal would do the average Brit more good than any news story.

Today, our views on what’s newsworthy are very different.

If nothing big happens, journalists will go out of their way to find stories. No matter how trivial.

Do you ever catch yourself feeling worried about missing out on the latest events? 

If so, remind yourself that an event on the news doesn’t make it significant. It’s only significant if you deem it to be.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach