Recycled stuff

“Today’s news is tomorrow’s nasi lemak wrapper,” a former boss once told me, reflecting how short the lifespan of a story can be.

However, once archived, a piece news written yesterday can later give background to something happening, say, a week from now.

Because history repeats itself. And because that’s human nature. You see how fashion kept going in circles (remember the platform revival in the late 90’s?) and how every four years politicians keep going on about how their organisation have helped the country and will keep doing it so long you vote for them. Whether they fulfill their promises that is a different story, but it too can be revisited again and again.

If you read a book with a historical theme, you can see how certain events that took place 30, 40 years ago can happen again in this time and age. Maybe not an exact replica, but certainly similar in many aspects.

It’s the same with us hacks. We generate story ideas based on the present state of whatever field we cover. Whether to analyse / anticipate current or future trends, or feature players of an enfolding drama (in a corporate takeover tussle, a political battle, a sporting event or even a catfight between celebrities).

Rehashing yesterday’s story into something relevant to today’s events is part of adding value to readers, to give a fresh perspective and shed a new light on what has happened. Because history repeats itself. And if we can learn something from it, that’s a bonus for the writer. If not, then it’s the suratkhabar lama guy’s gain.

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