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June 19, 2003
Soapbox I - The Media is too national

Newspapers can drive me nuts. You have to wade through page after page of ads, "features" on how we should all visit some exclusive, expensive locale in Jamaica for vacation this year, reviews of whatever book just hit the NYTimes list, or whatever movie has just been released in LA, etc. It's canned junk.

I liked newspapers better when the content was produced locally instead of purchased wholesale nationally, as seems to be the case these days. If we didn't know better, we might almost think a few, huge media conglomerates had bought up most news outlets and were mass-producing content for them, wouldn't we?

I would have appreciated a timely context for events over the last decade or so, is what I'm saying. Not that week after week of recipes for how to produce a fabulous party dish from three beets and a rutabaga isn't nice and all. I just don't feel it really prepares one to deal with serious issues of citizenship in the way that, say, on-going coverage of the shifting alliances and dangers in the Middle East might have done.

Or even, heavens above, actual coverage of the rest of the West and it's politics. Why should coverage of Paris or Bourne be confined to the travelogue pages unless the government is pitching a hissy fit and renaming French Fries to show the awesome weight of their disapproval?

(People didn't stop paying attention to the Middle East because it was too complicated and they didn't care. They stopped paying attention because the Middle East only hit the newspapers when something drastic happened and the situation was too complex to "catch up on" in the course of reading/hearing one story.)

Anyhow. I've gone all around the world to get here, but that's my point.

I blame the media, whom I perceive as having neglected and diminished what was once considered to be a near-sacred trust in this country.

As long as they keep scandal-mongering every event that takes place and blowing every eyebrow-wiggling into a major crisis, those of us who don't have the time and money to buy source material copies of all Administrative activities and political speeches are going to be hard-pressed to figure out when something is really wrong.

There are a lot of excellent sites out there covering the media's inadequacies, and I doubt there's much I have to add to the subject, but this has been my two cents' worth.

I hope you all spoke out in favor of repealing the recent FCC ruling.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:32 AM