Public interest, public interestedness and the self-organization of need

ABC News: Sharon Reportedly Moves One of His Hands

One headline, two blog posts. What value! There seems to be a fine line between what is in the public interest and what the public is interested in. Personally, I find every mention of the story compelling but its information content is of no consequence to me. Instead I'm asking myself the question: is it in my interest to be informed of every single detail of Sharon's health at the very moment it occurs? Probably not. However, this is probably price we have to pay for there not being somebody to decide what is in my interest to know. Instead, I have to go by what other people are interested in (the elusive 'public'). It is an interesting form of market-based collective sensorship. Of course, we can debate the scale - such as letting much of the news business be aggregated in two few hands in which case we need to mix in the element of economies of scale, as well.