The genius of the age is that of journalism. Journalism throngs every rift and cranny of our consciousness. It does so because the press and the media are far more than a technical instrument and commercial enterprise. The root-phenomenology of the journalistic is, in a sense, metaphysical. It articulates an epistemology and ethics of spurious temporality. Journalist presentation generates a temporality of equivalent instantaneity. All things are more or less of equal import; all are only daily. Correspondingly, the content, the possible significance of the material which journalism communicates, is ‘remaindered’ the day after. The journalistic vision sharpens to the point of maximum impact every event, every individual and social configuration; but the honing is uniform. Political enormity and the circus, the leaps of science and those of the athlete, apocalypse and indigestion, are given the same edge. Paradoxically, this monotone of graphic urgency anaesthetizes. The utmost beauty and terror are shredded at close of day. We are made whole again, and expectant, in time for the morning edition.
And to think how this remaindering operates in a world where the daily has transformed into the momentary, incessant news cycle.
George Steiner, Real Presences. 1991