By DANIELA LONGO
On Oct. 10, “the most beautiful night” for Venezuelans took place in Caracas.
A group of girls showed their best looks to engage the jury and have the chance of becoming “Miss Venezuela 2013” and, therefore, represent the country internationally in 2014 in the Miss Universe competition.
After the night ended, Migbelis Castellanos was chosen as Miss Venezuela 2013.
This headline appeared in every newspaper of the country, Twitter and Instagram went crazy from the beginning of night to even a week after it happened.
Radio programs, TV shows and newscasts had the winner and the four finalists as guests.
For Venezuelans, it seems everything else pauses on this night and they are able to escape reality for a while. This event is so powerful in this nation, that has the ability to unify a divided country.
During the “most beautiful night,” it doesn’t matter your political tendency or your social class, everyone is watching. Citizens are all happy to celebrate one more year of one of the things Venezuelans do best, beauty contests.
One of the elements of a good news story is unusualness. This element help journalists to chose whether a story is sufficiently important and interest to show the audience.
One thing is that the dog bites the man and another much different is that the man bites the dog. The first one is a normal behavior that might not deserve to be published by media because it’s a common situation, everyone already knows that a dog can bite a men. However, a man biting a dog its something rare that doesn’t happen often and society should be aware.
For journalists is necessary to find the right angle that develops that touch of uniqueness that can draw peoples attention and also gives society a valuable reason to hear the story.
The main purpose of journalism is to inform society of important things happening around the world that can affect them in some way or another. However, the way journalism functions varies from one country to another. This happens because each society, city and country is different; even each person is different and unique.
Journalism in Venezuela has become a rare thing and in the last five years has turned around completely.
This began with the nation’s political situation and censoring of freedom of expression. Venezuelan journalists in first place have to be very careful on how they communicate things without being subjective or biased by the government.
Another important fact is that with so many bad things happening every day, deaths, corruption, insecurity, bad economy, and more sad things have become the daily life, the common behavior of society. Headlines and news story are always about the same topics and normally are hard to digest.
This has caused a rare phenomenon that people have stopped watching or reading the news. They prefer to not be informed of what is happening.
I’m a Venezuelan and I can tell you how many times I have heard “change the channel or turn down the radio I don’t want to hear anything about the situation in Venezuela.”
People can’t be 100 percent uninformed. As much as a person wants to be far from bad news, the information will always come to you in some way or another.
We live in a world full of media platforms and news will get to you no matter what. Even trough the most basic form of communication, person-to-person communication.
The flip side of the Venezuelan situation is that when good things happen like the selection of the new Miss Venezuela, it becomes a rare situation and gets more attention than a political or economy story.
Normally, in journalism, a story like selection of the new Miss Venezuela might not even be published on the front page of a national newspaper or be the opening story of a newscast because it is not unusual, is something that happens every year.
The case of Venezuela shows how journalism varies depending on the needs of a society, and how something so common as electing a beauty queen every year can become an unusual news story.