IT used to be that news itself was interesting enough, but it seems that we have moved on.

Nowadays, the reaction to what’s going on locally, nationally and globally appears to be more engaging to people than the original news itself.

The public reaction to the news itself makes another news story, which really isn’t as newsworthy as the initial news story, but is presented as big news. Apologies for that last sentence - but the whole media cycle is a bit mind-blowing these days.

The problem isn’t so much the reaction. People have always had opinions about news - and so they should.

In 2019, however, opinion can be shouted to everyone and anyone via the wonder of social media

Moreover, public reaction about ANYTHING is often so extreme that there almost seems little point in engaging with ranty commenters.

This week, we watched as Notre Dame cathedral went up in flames and it was a truly shocking sight.

Whether you have visited that iconic, beautiful building in the heart of Paris or not, seeing it ablaze was very upsetting for many people.

That didn’t stop the commenters from berating those who wept as they watched Notre Dame burn. The view among some comments I read was – get over it, no one died and it’s only a building anyway. And obviously, both of those statements true.

But, regardless of whether they are true are not, there should be room for a range of responses, shouldn’t there?

Some people should be allowed to be extremely upset and get on with it, while others simply might not see it as a big deal. What good does it do to use social media to slag off someone else’s heartfelt emotions?

A similar thing happened following Tiger Woods’ amazing win at the Masters golf tournament in Augusta at the weekend.

You can question whether it should have really been the lead item on the TV news, but what isn’t in doubt is that his comeback, given his personal and health troubles, is a fantastic story – and there are millions of people across the world interested in it.

If you are one of those who isn’t, that’s fair enough. But surely it would be better just to let it pass you by and move on? Just what is the point of going on social media to post such insights as ‘Tiger who?’ or ‘What’s the big deal, it’s just a man swinging a metal stick about’, examples of which I saw this week? Then there was the climate change protest. Wow. The response to that was … interesting. They ranged from sentiments such as ‘Well done to them, there needs to be disruption to make people sit up and think about the biggest threat to mankind’, to ‘They should be water cannoned’.

As a former editor, I am well aware that when it comes to news it is impossible to please everyone.

There is nothing wrong with a carefully thought through opinion; it’s just a shame that social media doesn’t lend itself to rational debate or even polite, constructive criticism. Would that be such a bad thing, or am I just old-fashioned?