Blaise Tapp: News to one is nothing more than tittle tattle to another

In the three decades since I first stepped foot in a newsroom, the media business has gone through arguably the most dramatic changes in its history.
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Back in the early ‘90s hot metal was still a thing and the fax machine and postbag were the beating heart of any newsroom. A giant metal spike protruded from every cluttered desk, some of which were also home to a full ashtray. The dawn of the digital age has dramatically changed not only how news is delivered but how consumers receive it.These days there are far fewer journalists than there were in the heyday of print news and the modern multimedia reporter doesn’t have the time to spend two hour lunch breaks down the pub, which was the norm for many throughout most of the 20th Century.One thing that hasn't changed is the fundamentals of what makes a good news story, which is essentially anything that engages the reader. This usually means it has to be relevant, interesting, new and sometimes shocking or out of the ordinary, however what's news to one person, is nothing more than tittle tattle and gossip to somebody else.That argument has raged again in recent days following the announcement by Catherine, the Princess of Wales, that she has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Unless you've inhabited the darkest of caves, you'll know that this incredibly sad, unprecedented statement followed months of frenzied speculation both in much of the mainstream media and right across the depths of social media about her health.Blood vessels were burst by many an amateur online sleuth - i.e those with far too much time on their hands - over the now the now notorious photo shopped Mother's Day picture of her family and the internet went into meltdown over whether grainy 'snatched' images of the most famous woman in the land, really was her. Conspiracy theories exploded on platforms such as X, which in turn fuelled more 'where's Kate' articles in the more traditional media.Last Friday's statement was really the only thing she could've done given the fever pitch levels of interest but a growing number of people are of the opinion that it really shouldn't have come to that and that a sick mum of three young children - regardless of how privileged and famous she might be - should be allowed to face her illness in private. Who knows, it might even prove to be a turning point in the wider conversation about whether other people's lives should be regarded as news.