Sunday, December 21, 2008

What Happened to the "News"?

Listening to "talking heads" on the news channels, hoping to hear reasonable points of view, is just frustrating, because so many of them have become well-known by occupying a certain political niche, and once established, seldom vary from their accustomed themes.

It's no fun listening when you already know what will be said even before they say it. It's maddening to hear so-called pundits--whether from the right or from the left--fudging the facts to bolster their points of view, or even worse, slandering by innuendo and suggestion, the motives and characters of those with opposing views.

Many so-called "news" shows have morphed into gossip fests, and are about as meaningful and accurate as gossip usually is.

When someone pops into view who thinks, who speaks in more than sound bites and jargon, and who has something substantial to say (whether I agree or not), it is a pleasure and a refreshing surprise.

The news channels give far too much attention to the latest accident, car chase, celebrity divorce, or gruesome murder. There is a saying in journalism, "If it bleeds, it leads." I suspect there is another saying, "If it thinks, it stinks."

Everyone has a right to express his or her point of view--but let it be a point of view, not just rhetoric. And let's have some real news. When I look at the "World" section of my local newspaper, I realize, again and again, how much we miss on TV. I used to love CNN when it really was a news channel.

What happened to the journalists who used to dig deep for the really interesting stuff? Wherever you all went, please come back. And whatever happened to just reporting the news without lacing it with comments and opinions.? I'd like just reporting to come back, too, from wherever it went.

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