In the world of news, cable 24 hour channels are designed for things such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, 9/11 and other emergencies. These are events that pushed the seams of our country, but it didn’t break us a nation. For example, firefighters in New York after that fateful day 11 years ago strengthened this country as we saw a resilient spirit come from every day people. I wanted and needed to see people coming together after such great loss.
We needed hope to help with our grief, our sadness and our anger.
Those are the times that news channels in MSM work. For the most part, however, on most days there isn’t that sort of urgency so political pundits fill the airwaves.
I think it was Jon Stewart who brought up once that it amazes him that Anderson Cooper has a nightly segment on his show called “Keeping Them Honest.” I’ve questioned why Cooper would need a segment called this as that is what all news should be. Facts are facts. That should be a given in the world of journalism and I think it is a good example of how we have fallen into the world of newsertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I dig Cooper, but it’s a good example of how news has changed.
Hours have to be filled and there are an abundance of pundits on every channel. News has always been a for-profit industry. It has changed over the years depending on the appetite of the consumer.
There are things in this country to be angry about, there is no doubt. Outrage drives ratings up, sells newspapers and gets the juices flowing. We live with Facebook and Twitter where it’s the chance for everyone to be a guru, a critic or a pundit. Hell, I do it too but I take it pretty much a grain of salt yet when it comes to news, I want serious journalism. I do.
I worry, and I do, about areas in this country that are only getting the newsertainment. I’ve written about this ad nauseum especially when it comes to our state but I think it falls on deaf ears. I was recently called “just a blogger” from someone that didn’t quite understand I was writing political columns and covered news for a newspaper and a radio station 20 years ago. I get it and I wasn’t offended. As long as you stop by now and then, I’ll take it. It is what it is. I loved the craft of journalism yet it is in the rearview mirror at this time of my life.
The world has changed and maybe I’m just being a bit nostalgic. It’s a new world, campers.
I’m grateful we don’t have stories like 9/11 or Hurricane Sandy everyday and let’s remember, there are countries on this planet who live in chaos constantly. I just wish that we didn’t create and spin chaos especially in politics just to create news for entertainment’s sake.