For a former journalist to ignore the news, takes a lot of will power. For years, decades, I was a news junkie. I couldn’t get enough. But today ? I rarely listen. Maybe to the weather. Is what we’re hearing news ? Or a manipulated version of it ?
I have a cousin who has been a news producer for a major network for about 25 years. At a family gathering in the fall, he said, he used to fight with the executives, higher-ups, about the way the news was being presented. It would disgust him. “I used to walk out mad, exasperated. But I gave up. Now I just do my job and leave.”
I agreed with him.Then he said, “When someone tells me they’ll just change the channel, I tell them go ahead. It’s all the same. They’ve all been bought.”
The only program still investigative, with real journalists, instead of pretty bobble heads, is “60 minutes.” And probably a lot of that has/had to do with the age of the journalists.
They were hard-line reporters, digging into stories, taking months to reveal all sides, the facts, the background. And because of doing such a good job, they’ve even had their hand slapped a few times. Good for them. No one would have been that mad if some or all weren’t true and they had been found out.
What surprises me most though, is the apathy in this country. And so much from the younger generation. As baby boomers, we didn’t tolerate a lot of crap from the government or authorities, especially if it was wrong. We would boycott, have marches, protest, sit-ins, etc. We were heard. And we changed some things, because we had a unified voice.
Don’t the youth get it ? They’re the ones that will be stuck with all these bad policies, injustices, limping environment, laws and regulations that have been set or are being set in place now. I wish them luck. I wouldn’t want the bulk of them following me around for 50 years.
Pretty sad, isn’t it ? I tell people if they really want to know what’s going on in our country, turn on the BBC. Not BBC America, but BBC. You’ll find out more about our country, from another country.
Unfortunately, there are too many owners and we probably all know who I’m talking about, (may he only go back to his country of origin) that dominate the larger portion of media outlets- TV, radio and print publications.
I was writing for an award winning newspaper, that was in a smaller, but still sophisticated area and when my check arrived, was I surprised. It was sent from a major Fortune 500 company. Yup, he owned this one too.
This is how it stands now- The Federal Communication Commission (the FCC) rules forbid one company from owning both a newspaper and a television station in one community.
But according to sources within the FCC, Chairman Julius Genachowski is quietly planning to scrap those rules. Under pressure from major media moguls, who see big bucks and huge political power in a consolidated national and local media, Genachowski circulated a new order to other FCC Commissioners that would allow for cross-ownership of TV and newspapers in the nation’s twenty biggest media markets.
A similar effort was made in 2007 by George W. Bush’s FCC, but it was shot down after the Senate voted to repeal it and a federal court blocked it. Not to mention, 99% of the public comments the FCC received opposed that media consolidation effort.
So, because our country, morals and actions are dominated by money, we too, may soon be listening to news propaganda and slanted news, (or more of it) giving only one side to stories. Their side. Doesn’t that make us on par with all those countries we look down upon, or feel better than, because we pride ourselves on free speech ?
In the end though, if you really think about it, we’re no better off than Iran, Libya, North Korea or even China, who still holds their media on a short leash. Next time you watch the news, think about that. Then turn the channel.
It concerns me, too, that younger people aren’t seeming to step forward in large numbers. A few do, but not enough, and I think in another ten years or so when they realize what they’ve given up, it will be a more difficult battle. One that’s been played out in history many times with strewn bodies and ruined souls. Yes, I’m sounding melodramatic, but I also believe it.