I have been wondering about the Sunday paper. It arrives thinner than thin, spouting rehashed news from the previous week because they can’t afford to have writers/journalists reporting for a full day Saturday. There is nothing worse than opening the Sunday sports page to bask in the victory of your favorite college football team, that happened to have the bad luck to play the previous evening…sorry, you won’t see anything about that…on the Internet yes, newspaper no.
It doesn’t stop there. I have recently realized how many wealthy individuals buy newspaper companies. I know, welcome to the present, Phaedra…I do know it’s not a new thing, but it is becoming rampant in a new way…I think back maybe 15 or 20 years ago owners of newspapers were concerned with making sure they told the actual news. Didn’t matter what their personal views were, but their goal was to be as transparent as possible and report what was really happening. I had friends that worked for the paper as political reporters, exclusively. Went to every city council meeting in The OC. Now it is about revenue. There are very few journalists deployed to cover local government business in any city or state council meetings…because readers are allowed to influence them with which subjects they want to read about. They actually ASK them what they want to read about. What happen to a journalist reporting what we NEED to know. They owe us that. How can we do it for ourselves?! Isn’t there some swearing in they do before going out into the world to report? Isn’t that why they wanted to become journalists…I have so many questions.
Many Americans aren’t interested in being depressed by horrific incidents…it is the journalist’s job…no, duty to report everything that is news. Not just the revenue generating news, not only the pretty things or cute human interest stories…are those important? Yes! But like many a one sided conversation…a sense of malais comes over the listener. All of a sudden, we think…there must not be any bad news today…no hungry people, or soldiers injured…the list goes on. I will just float through the mundane…not happy but not sad.
The most dangerous part of what I’m saying is that private owners of newspapers can slant the news…and do…so we are not getting the whole picture. if your boss says to do something, you do it. If they have final say in what goes to print, certain stories may not make it to print. There have been reports to this effect. What scares me is, if no journalists show up at certain local government meetings, that are closed to the public by the way, and report to you what your politicians are planning to do…it’s like a parent leaving their pre-teens unattended at home while at work. You could come home to a mess in the kitchen or the house burnt down. In my mind politicians have proven themselves not capable of being left on their own devices. Especially at the local level.
It is not my job or intention to name names, ever…because I am about all of us. Every single person has the right and is allowed to say and feel how they wish because this is America. There seems to be a trend to snuff out the rights of Americans that choose to express their feelings about being an American. Apparently, if you decide to sit out the national anthem or think that the government should not include religious direction…read, I can be and say anything I want because this IS America, land of the free. Not the land of, you must worship as a…fill in the blank…and the way you show your patriotism properly is to…fill in the blank. That just smells of oppression. That is not what I am about…one of the beautiful things about getting older is being able to still love and enjoy people even if they do feel strongly against what I am saying. Politics is one of the very few things that does change about a person as they age. It is something I just don’t hold against anyone.
So, I am scared and sad about my Sunday paper. We used to get the daily paper, then Thursday through Sunday…now, just Sunday. I’m thinking…the next time it ends up in my gutter, half wet because the plastic isn’t sealed anymore…I might cancel. That does make me sad. Books on my iPad, now the newspaper on the web. I’m trying to wrap my head around it all.