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Today I was reading through the news, both online editions of newspapers and television web sites and again noticed what I believe to be gross neglect on the part of the news media. I won't point out a single article since I am seeking feedback on an overall trend.
In several articles today alone and countless articles in the last few months, the media presents a story but does not go into enough detail to actually inform or educate the reader on what is really happening in the individual story or how it relates to trends in society or even how it should be important to the reader. It is simply snippets of information stretched into enough words to form an article.
While I tend to read about things of which I already have some background knowledge, it occurs to me that if a reader comes across something new to them, they are not being educated at all.
I put it to the AAAC forum:
Should the news enlighten and educate?
Do you feel you learn the underlying issues of some event when you read the newspaper or web sites?
How would you like to see the news media improved to better inform you?

I am really curious about this. I am feeling the news is backsliding terribly. What do you think?
 

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The last thing I want is to have dim-witted journalists trying to "educate" me and tell me what the "real" issues behind the news are. We get enough of that as it is.
See, the Turkey already knows everything. Turkey is a one of a kind expert. He knows things before they are reported - sometimes before they even happen. He doesn't need some obviously liberal reporter who graduated from a university telling him what happened and its ramifications - the Turkey will get his news from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hanity thank you very much. They are fair and balanced after all and are certainly not dim-witted. Hell, real men don't even need the news - they just know.
 

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When did you think the main line news is ever honest? When C-SPAN and conservative radio programs the main line news media could no longer spin lies like they used to, but nowadays they are getting back to it because they have so many followers who will believe any lieful spin, because they want to.

Birds of a feather flock together- liers with liers. C-SPAN is nice because you actually get to see what is happening, whereas, the main line news media was never telling us the truth and still don't intend to.
 

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When did you think the main line news is ever honest? When C-SPAN and conservative radio programs the main line news media could no longer spin lies like they used to, but nowadays they are getting back to it because they have so many followers who will believe any lieful spin, because they want to.

Birds of a feather flock together- liers with liers. C-SPAN is nice because you actually get to see what is happening, whereas, the main line news media was never telling us the truth and still don't intend to.
When did you think the main line news is ever honest? When C-SPAN and Air America radio programs Fox News could no longer spin lies like they used to, but nowadays they are getting back to it because they have so many followers who will believe any lieful spin, because they want to.

Birds of a feather flock together- liers with liers. C-SPAN is nice because you actually get to see what is happening, whereas, Fox News was never telling us the truth and still don't intend to.

WaWa, yoiu are as poorly informed as our dear Turkey. Not as delightfully amusing as the Turkey, mind you, but capable of some whoppers of your own nonetheless!
 

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I think if you depend on network television and USA Today your bound to get an incomplete picture about what is happening in the World. Certainly sources like the BBC, NYTimes, and NPR provide more in-depth explanation and background, though, granted, from what might be construed as a liberal vantage point. For added depth, you have to go out of your way and seek information, look at Foreign Affairs and some Think Tank analyses.

If you think you can get the news of the World in 12 minutes of news, weather and sports, with human interest stories thrown in to eat up time and get the wives involved, I don't agree. Depends how interested you are. One things for certain, if you're watching CNN on the Russian invasion of Georgia (don't get alarmed-that's in Europe, Pedantic Turkey) you're only getting a shallow slice of what happened that led up to it, and what's going on now. Mass media in the US deals mostly with manifestations of problems, not their origins.
 

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When did you think the main line news is ever honest? When C-SPAN and Air America radio programs Fox News could no longer spin lies like they used to, but nowadays they are getting back to it because they have so many followers who will believe any lieful spin, because they want to.

Birds of a feather flock together- liers with liers. C-SPAN is nice because you actually get to see what is happening, whereas, Fox News was never telling us the truth and still don't intend to.

WaWa, yoiu are as poorly informed as our dear Turkey. Not as delightfully amusing as the Turkey, mind you, but capable of some whoppers of your own nonetheless!
You are certainly a bird of a different feather.

I don't know how old you are, but before C-SPAN the media did whatever it wanted to do, which included a huge amount of sleeze. If you wanted to know the truth about what was happening in politics you had to go read the bills and see who voted which way on them, because the media had no intenions of letting the general public know what was happening. How many times I told people the Democrats did this or that but so many were conned by the the main line news and would say "Oh, that is what the Republicians do! Not the Democrats!" But the writers of the bills and the voteing record showed otherwise. The authors of the bills and the voteing record is the truth, not the media. When C-SPAN came I then began to hear from so many "The news media never told us this, and they lied about that." and so on. Weavers of lies have a hard time telling the truth. The main line media had the public convinced that the consevatives were something entirely different, so huge part of the US was hood winked by the main line media of the day. Conservatives news media was hard to find in those days. Rush Limbaugh showed the world what conservatives are and showed the world what the lefties are as he stomped on them. The left hated being stomped on, but they had been stomping on the right. Niether side is perfect but, I came to the conclusion long ago that the right are less of hypocrites than the left. Both sides have been right and both sides have taken some wrong roads. But it would be nice to read and hear the main line media not taint the conservative beliefs. Take, for example, the main line media about the Christian right, why does the media lie about the Christian right so much? When I was in school 40 years ago the Christmas songs we sung back than were our Constitutional rights, but now they are outlawed, and I wonder about some of the patriotic songs if they are sung anymore in the public schools. The Christian right has been fighting for what was legal 40-50 years ago, but the mainline news media is more interested in rewriting our recent history and slandering the Christian right, not to mention they defently have an intolerance to Christianity.
 

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You are certainly a bird of a different feather.

I don't know how old you are, but before C-SPAN the media did whatever it wanted to do, which included a huge amount of sleeze. If you wanted to know the truth about what was happening in politics you had to go read the bills and see who voted which way on them, because the media had no intenions of letting the general public know what was happening. How many times I told people the Democrats did this or that but so many were conned by the the main line news and would say "Oh, that is what the Republicians do! Not the Democrats!" But the writers of the bills and the voteing record showed otherwise. The authors of the bills and the voteing record is the truth, not the media. When C-SPAN came I then began to hear from so many "The news media never told us this, and they lied about that." and so on. Weavers of lies have a hard time telling the truth. The main line media had the public convinced that the consevatives were something entirely different, so huge part of the US was hood winked by the main line media of the day. Conservatives news media was hard to find in those days. Rush Limbaugh showed the world what conservatives are and showed the world what the lefties are as he stomped on them. The left hated being stomped on, but they had been stomping on the right. Niether side is perfect but, I came to the conclusion long ago that the right are less of hypocrites than the left. Both sides have been right and both sides have taken some wrong roads. But it would be nice to read and hear the main line media not taint the conservative beliefs. Take, for example, the main line media about the Christian right, why does the media lie about the Christian right so much? When I was in school 40 years ago the Christmas songs we sung back than were our Constitutional rights, but now they are outlawed, and I wonder about some of the patriotic songs if they are sung anymore in the public schools. The Christian right has been fighting for what was legal 40-50 years ago, but the mainline news media is more interested in rewriting our recent history and slandering the Christian right, not to mention they defently have an intolerance to Christianity.
You weave together several disjointed and sometimes paranoid ideas here, so it is difficult to understand what you are trying to say, much less what you are thinking. In any case, you are entitled to your opinion. Keep a sharp lookout for the guys in the black helicoptors. When they arrive, call the Turkey to protect you, he always packs a gun in defense of liberty.

Buzz
 

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I would like my news to report the facts. To tell me what is actually happening, without any slant. If by "underlining issues" you me reporting what has lead up to, or caused an event then I do want that. If on the other hand you mean reporting who is in the right or wrong than I don't want that. I would much rather have each sides' argument/view presented and then be allowed to make up my own mind.

I don't know that we have ever received absolutely unbiased news. I imagine it is difficult, if not impossible for newsmen to not let their personal view influence their reporting. I do think it happens far to often that what is reported is only one sides view of an issue. For example I think that Fox News presents the news from a more conservative viewpoint and CNN presents the news from a more liberal viewpoint. I personally believe there are more liberally slanted news programs than conservative, and that might be my personal bias coming to light. I also don't think that shows like Rush Limbaugh and Hannity should be counted as news, but rather what they are, news commentary. No one should look for unbias reporting on AM talk radio. We should be able to find it in our newspaper, nighly news, radio NEWS reports, etc...

I think that bringing press bias to light is a double-edged sword. On the one side I believe it is overall a good thing that the consumer is aware of this. On the other hand I think this is being used by news organizations as an excuse to only present one side. I personally believe it has gotten worse in my lifetime (I'm 37) rather than better. In the past I believe that more of an effort was made to present the unbiased news and that this was an ideal that was aspired to. Now it seems that only one side is presented with the reasoning being that this needs to be done to counter act the other guy. I think this is bad for all of us, regardless of what side of the isle you fall on.

That's this newbie's two cents.
 

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Infotainment

Their job isn't to report the news, their job is to sell ads. Selling ads, means putting out stories that get viewers, not putting out stories that are informative.

I sometimes wonder if reporters feel like whores when they cover stories on celebrity scandals, and have to pretend that the stories actually have any import other than satisfying salacious curiosity.
 

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Their job isn't to report the news, their job is to sell ads. Selling ads, means putting out stories that get viewers, not putting out stories that are informative.

I sometimes wonder if reporters feel like whores when they cover stories on celebrity scandals, and have to pretend that the stories actually have any import other than satisfying salacious curiosity.
Journalists have a special place in our democracy and have special protections. To quote Spider Man, "with great power comes great responsiblity." I doubt most journalists would view their job as just selling ads, but then again maybe I'm wrong. That could be part of the problem.

I think informative unbiased news would attract viewers.
 

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There's just not enough news in the world these days.All they report are deaths,suicides,killings,bombings but rarely do you see any good news in the papers,news has changed a whole lot over the years.
 

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All television is entertainment. There is no such thing as a serious analysis of any topic via television. Not the so-called news, not the talk shows, not the panel discussions, not the "debates", none of it.

This is not due to fact that so many of the people working in and on television are whores, although they are. It's an inherent quality of the medium.

When it tries to be serious, it's like a bad joke. The "seriousness" portrayed on television is just like everything else on television -- a form of theater. News-theater is no different than crime-show-theater, the only difference is that news-theater is carefully designed to allow the consumer to indulge in the temporary fantasy that he is serious, erudite, well-informed, etc.
 

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All television is entertainment. There is no such thing as a serious analysis of any topic via television. Not the so-called news, not the talk shows, not the panel discussions, not the "debates", none of it.

This is not due to fact that so many of the people working in and on television are whores, although they are. It's an inherent quality of the medium.

When it tries to be serious, it's like a bad joke. The "seriousness" portrayed on television is just like everything else on television -- a form of theater. News-theater is no different than crime-show-theater, the only difference is that news-theater is carefully designed to allow the consumer to indulge in the temporary fantasy that he is serious, erudite, well-informed, etc.
...and then...strangely...I found myself in complete agreement with Phinn. Something definitely is wrong with me and that month at Austen-Riggs is sounding like a better idea all the time!

Buzz
 

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Today I was reading through the news, both online editions of newspapers and television web sites and again noticed what I believe to be gross neglect on the part of the news media. I won't point out a single article since I am seeking feedback on an overall trend.
In several articles today alone and countless articles in the last few months, the media presents a story but does not go into enough detail to actually inform or educate the reader on what is really happening in the individual story or how it relates to trends in society or even how it should be important to the reader. It is simply snippets of information stretched into enough words to form an article.
While I tend to read about things of which I already have some background knowledge, it occurs to me that if a reader comes across something new to them, they are not being educated at all.
I put it to the AAAC forum:
Should the news enlighten and educate?
Do you feel you learn the underlying issues of some event when you read the newspaper or web sites?
How would you like to see the news media improved to better inform you?

I am really curious about this. I am feeling the news is backsliding terribly. What do you think?
I think the media outlets are just there to provide entertainment for the intelligent and fodder for the ignorant to feed on and argue about.
 

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(The author gets this mostly right)

The Direction of the Press

The press too, of course, enjoys the widest freedom. (I shall be using the word press to include all media). But what sort of use does it make of this freedom?

Here again, the main concern is not to infringe the letter of the law. There is no moral responsibility for deformation or disproportion. What sort of responsibility does a journalist have to his readers, or to history? If they have misled public opinion or the government by inaccurate information or wrong conclusions, do we know of any cases of public recognition and rectification of such mistakes by the same journalist or the same newspaper? No, it does not happen, because it would damage sales. A nation may be the victim of such a mistake, but the journalist always gets away with it. One may safely assume that he will start writing the opposite with renewed self-assurance.

Because instant and credible information has to be given, it becomes necessary to resort to guesswork, rumors and suppositions to fill in the voids, and none of them will ever be rectified, they will stay on in the readers' memory. How many hasty, immature, superficial and misleading judgments are expressed every day, confusing readers, without any verification. The press can both simulate public opinion and miseducate it. Thus we may see terrorists heroized, or secret matters, pertaining to one's nation's defense, publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: "everyone is entitled to know everything." But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era: people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press. In-depth analysis of a problem is anathema to the press. It stops at sensational formulas.

Such as it is, however, the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. One would then like to ask: by what law has it been elected and to whom is it responsible? In the communist East a journalist is frankly appointed as a state official. But who has granted Western journalists their power, for how long a time and with what prerogatives?

There is yet another surprise for someone coming from the East where the press is rigorously unified: one gradually discovers a common trend of preferences within the Western press as a whole. It is a fashion; there are generally accepted patterns of judgment and there may be common corporate interests, the sum effect being not competition but unification. Enormous freedom exists for the press, but not for the readership because newspapers mostly give enough stress and emphasis to those opinions which do not too openly contradict their own and the general trend.

-- From Alexander Solzhenitsyn's 1978 Harvard Graduation Speech --
 
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