Okay…this old lady has had it with the latest labeling tirade. Sick and tired of hearing about the “news media” and all of the evils thereof.
I AM the news media.
News media is defined as an umbrella term for all the sources and presentation of news and information, including: TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, web pages and blogs.
I write three blogs. I manage a website. I’ve written for books, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, book jackets, and advertisements. I’ve been on television. I’ve worked for an ad agency, a book publisher, and several print shops. I guess somehow I skipped talking on the radio. In addition to my own experiences I can name at least ten other people in my family who have had their writings published. As many of you already know, my mother, grandmother, and great-grandfather wrote for publication in several newspapers and magazines. I also have friends who currently work in the news media.
So trust me…I AM the news media and I understand the decimation of “news and information” and I resent the daily declaration that everyone in the news media is joined at the brain and intent on duping the public with fake news.
My mother taught me all about fake newspapers at a very early age. She called them “gossip rags” and they were displayed next to the checkout counter at the grocery store. They had front page stories about alien kidnappings, the torrid affairs of movie stars, and the secret lives of freaks and psychos. My mother knew they were filled with nonsense and couldn’t understand why anyone bought them.
I also learned in school that you shouldn’t get all of your information about ANYTHING from ONE source. All of the research papers I wrote from fourth grade to grad school were based on information gleaned from multiple sources.
Each newspaper, television network, and radio station has its own political ideology based on the people who own, manage, and produce it. If you have strong feelings and opinions of your own you’ve probably figured out already that there are some papers and programs you just can’t tolerate. That doesn’t necessarily mean their news is FAKE; it more than likely just means that their interpretation of the news is different from your own. Ever talk to two people from the same accident scene?
We live in a country that has always valued the rights of citizens to express their own ideas, make their own decisions, and talk or write or sing about them for everyone else to agree with…or NOT. The idea that we suddenly have a massive group of reporters with a coordinated sinister plan to hoodwink the American public is ludicrous, especially when you consider that any ten year old can whip out his phone and Google facts, figures, and photos of nearly any event on the planet.
My dad always warned that if something sounded too good (or too bad) to be true, then I shouldn’t pay attention to it. I would add that if a news report seems like a hack or a scam or a hoax, then don’t accept it as gospel. If it doesn’t come from a source you have reason to trust, then don’t read it or listen to it or believe it.
Yes, yes, yes we can be fooled by fake news. But that isn’t the fault of the entire news media. I’ve been fooled and hurt by a few pastors, teachers, lawyers, and doctors. Does that mean I can label all of them as mean and deceitful? I think not.
I leave you today with a quote from President James A. Garfield:
“The people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.”
Let’s not tolerate labeling and name calling.