Monday, December 21, 2015
Five news stories you don't get any more
As you get older the world changes and fashion changes.
So, based on my childhood and teenage perceptions from the 1960s and 1970s, let me present my Five News Stories You Don't Get Any More.
1. Air disasters
Back in the 1970s the loss of a passenger jet with horrific casualties seemed to be a monthly occurrence. Today you hardly hear of them.
The figures in this CNN report suggest that this perception is correct.
2. Formula 1 drivers being killed
Again in the 1960s it seemed to be taken granted that several leading Formula 1 drivers would die each season.
Today that seems unthinkable. When Ayrton Senna died the shock went around the world.
This Wikipedia list of fatalities suggests my memory is a little exaggerated, but the pattern is clear.
3. Balance of payments crisis
When I first became old enough to watch or listen to the news and understand it, Britain's balance of payments crisis was a near permanent story.
By the time I came to study A level Economics we had discovered 'invisible exports' and were less worried.
Today you never hear the balance of payments mentioned.
4. Ever younger children swimming the English Channel
Once skinny little figures shivering in goose grease appeared regularly in the news. Today you never see them.
It turns out that the Channel Swimming Association imposed a minimum age of 16 years in 2000, which means that the record is likely to stay with Thomas Gregory, who made the crossing in 1988 aged 11 years and 336 days.
5. Japanese soldiers emerging from the jungle not knowing World War II was over
This was another popular story. I was surprised to find that two elderly Japanese soldiers were found hiding out on a Philippine island as recently as 2005.
Who knows? There may still be more out there.