I hope the American reporters who dropped everything and covered the announcement of the new pope had a nice visit to Rome. Maybe they took in some sightseeing, ate some memorable pasta and gelato and tipped the bellboys well, on their companies’ nickel.
Because they sure couldn’t have felt that they were getting a dramatic story. The TV networks, newspapers and magazines must dread a development like this one. Sure, the disclosure of a new pope is undeniably historic for all kinds of religious, cultural and political reasons.
But think of the cash-strapped media companies for a moment. It costs a small fortune to send a journalism crew from the U.S. to Rome, where the anchors and correspondents waited and waited and waited for the official word.
The media organizations had a thankless task. They had to cover the announcement in person, with their best journalists, because of the gravity of the story. At the same time, what were they reporting? The same speculation as everyone else. Even when we knew the outcome, were here any legendary scoops? The “news” had all of the exclusivity of the report of the closing price at the New York Stock Exchange or the final score of the Miami Heat game.