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branding_news.jpg.gif: A One-Act Farce

More Hotmail-related life-balm was found today after signing out and being, as has been so since the beginning of time, automatically re-routed to the ninemsn page, which was very excited to announce that National Nine News is now capitalising on the vulgar voyeurism so many happy bystanders used to participate in just for fun! To wit:

Attention all 9 newswatchers!

Don't just watch the news. MAKE the news.

If you witness a crime or accident, a natural disaster, or a scene of triumph or desperation, don't just be a bystander and watch it unfold. Grab your mobile phone or digital camera and become a 9 newswatch citizen journalist.

You can instantly become a member of the National Nine News team by sending images or information from any remarkable event to our newsrooms across the country. Once received, it will be reviewed by senior editorial staff and if it's good enough it could air on a news bulletin and/or be published on ninemsn.

Check out some of the best shots we've received so far in our
9 newswatch photo gallery.

By submitting your footage, you also agree to comply to ninemsn's terms and conditions.

Send us your footage or photos via the form below or via MMS:

0405 999 999

(You'll need to include your full name and a daytime telephone number so we can contact you to verify your details or get more information. Please keep your attached files to less than 6MB per email.)

One needn't mince words: this is horrible. Yes, bystander footage has yielded many significant documentary images through the years, but there's just something so very creepy about their cracked and wonky eager-beaver mask. Urging docile websters to cast aside human compassion and the instinct to aid one another in favour of what's rapidly expanding to fill the gap, which is the urge to gain any kind of recognition by launching yourself on the world with much noise & little premeditation under the banner of professions previously esteemed for the skills they required, viz. Popstars et al. Or, apparently, by recording the pain of others on your Nokia to fill Nine's Schadenfreude Hour.

After disgustedly letting fly into my spittoon, I re-settled my gaze onto the page and found something mildly less offensive but (heaven forbid) no less inane:

News that's Out There
Out There ... because truth is stranger than fiction

An old man will ride his bicycle 2600 kilometres to the World Cup.

If this is the news that's out there, what's the news in here? I followed this enticing snippet to find headings of a similar ilk inside: NEWS HOME > OUT THERE, OUT THERE TODAY and EVEN MORE OUT THERE. Fortunately for anyone wishing to go all the way out there, ninemsn have helpfully herded all the 'news' items not to be let indoors and left them to mill around in a yard called http://news.ninemsn.com.au/odd. How apt.

It was comforting though, as I fled to the safety of my bookmarks toolbar options, to notice that at least they've got the important issues sorted; under their very poker-faced pap-journalism title of IN FOCUS (small depth of field?), they'd given proper weight to the pressing issues of our day:

Tim Lester
When a banquet with President Bush isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Which is....?

Finally, and with grave implications for us all:

Collecting the wrong fare
Watch as a cabbie is interviewed on the BBC by mistake.

Oh, I don't think I can. Somebody hold me.


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