I like to refer to Webster’s dictionary when I see something evolving away from its original intent, becoming something very different.
For example, take the word journalism.
According to Webster it is: the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business.
I suppose you could say most news outlets are doing that. They are editing and reporting the news. In today’s society news outlets are the chief purveyor of information and events to the public. The pool of outlets is larger than it has ever been.
A hundred years ago the primary source of news came from newspapers. Reporters in those times, for the most part, stuck with the facts, the who-what-when-where-how of any particular event.
Today you have the big networks and their news engines – CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, CNN, etc… Add to that the talk show crowd, the Becks and Shultz’s of the world. Then you have hundreds of thousands of bloggers (like me) with views as diverse as books sold on Amazon.
Journalism in the 21st century has taken a stop backwards and not in a good way. Reporters are no longer the source of facts. The facts are being filtered through the political lens of the outlet reporting them.
What I find very interesting on a regular basis is how differently a story gets told between the different outlets or stories considered newsworthy on one outlet doesn’t warrant one single drop of ink on another.
As bad as it is during normal times it jams into another gear in an election year. It makes me crazy and not in a good way (as if there is a good way to be made crazy.) It gets to where you don’t know what to believe.
Perhaps I’m just getting cynical but I am beginning to believe there is no such thing as good news. At least that’s what the mainstream media would have you believe.
The question I ask myself when I skip through the news outlets of the day is: “Just how news worthy is this, or continue to be?”
Like I have had it up to here with Rush Limbaugh. I get it. The guy is an extraordinary idiot. He overstepped civility when he used the S word to describe the Georgetown U student. He’s a bad, bad man. I get that.
But considering everything wrong in the world and the issues at our collective throats, it amazes me that news outlets have invested more time in reporting RushGate than the Kennedy assassination. I think there are plenty of other real issues deserving of close external scrutiny. Huffington Post still had at least three news items related to Limboob on their front page today. Fortunately most other outlets have moved on to more critical issues like Lindsey Lohan’s SNL hosting debacle and Super Tuesday.
I’m starting to believe we are becoming a country of Lemmings, blindly following the mass media down the paths they want to take us. The hook is being set and we are getting closer and closer to the boat… hook, line, and sinker.
Don’t believe everything you read. Investigate on your own. Draw your own conclusions. Separate fact from fiction, spin from truth, dissent from destruction. An opinion shaped by falsehood is as dangerous as the lie that created it.
Ask yourself this… Who’s watching the watchdogs?