There are times when I wonder if the fact that news and current events in our world are so instantaneously available that we all wouldn’t be a bit better off back in the days where the only information we got was from the nightly news where they had to pick and choose from the days stories in order to keep everything in a neat thirty minutes.
It may be that so much of what I see on the instant news networks becomes opinion and conjecture only because the actual facts of what has taken place are so limited at the time that the “journalists” have to spread their word vomit just to fill time and keep people from changing the channel. Not only does that become a disservice to the true duty of journalists but also tends to spread innuendo and rumor rather than fact when it comes to news.
If we didn’t care about what was being reported we could simply get our information at the coffee shop, or standing on the corner at the Casey’s store or worse yet, from Facebook and the internet. Facebook, which is a great way to keep in touch with friends and families, is the worst place in the world to get an actual account of any news item. I’ve read constant posts on topics ranging from GMO’s to political figures that not only are written with a decidedly special interest spin. If you are of the opinion that food should only be raised organically, then you will write with a spin, culling information, which is not always current or correct from only sources that support your hypothesis. It is as simple as that.
Good reporting, really good reporting offers a reader all the facts and then lets the reader determine what side they should be on. It is what journalism should be like, not this watered down information that is spewed out in order to shock the reader or make one believe that there is only one side to a story. It is too easy for people to be swayed by what they first read, especially if it plays to their emotion or pocketbook. The political parties have been using these methods of spreading information, or lies to be more precise, for years, playing on the fears of people. How many times have we heard that some program is to be cut and handouts taken away when in actuality they “cut” is just less than what someone really wanted? It would be like me wanting a fifty cent raise at work and only getting thirty cents and then screaming that my wages had been cut. The sad part is this kind of garbage that has been used in politics are now invading journalism.
I don’t believe that it is a liberal or conservative thing, not a thing that is based on race, or gender or orientation, but instead has become so easy because no one has stood up to say “enough is enough!” It continues because we allow it to and because we allow ourselves to be fed on what is less than unbiased reporting, which makes it easy for those who are kept in check by honest journalism to run amock until a story completely blows up.
So as you watch the news, read a story or contemplate a candidate take time to do your own homework. Seek out the facts and make your own determination on what is your thought and feeling about a subject. In the end, we all will be much more informed about our world and a little smarter in the meantime. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.