My interview with the American journalist and author
Tara, this was an interesting piece.
I found the discussion informative on a few levels. First, I find myself trying to avoid ALL broadcast news. Second, I am very selective on my written news. Why, you might ask?
I feel that broadcast news gives the presenter the easiest way to [try to] sway their audience. I lean somewhat to the conservative side so I find broadcast news (CBC - ug! - CTV, Global, etc.) which concentrates on short, quick pieces far, far too liberal. It is not the fact that they are liberal that bothers me [indeed, on the rare occasions that I do watch/listen I sometimes agree with a piece] but it is the implicit and often explicit assumption that anyone who doesn't share that viewpoint is foolish or corrupt or a non-thinking moron - or all of those. What doesn't happen is that there is no consideration of WHY someone might reasonably hold that other view - a function of individual reporter and institutional bias and short news clips. Now, don't for a minute think that I am praising some of the more conservative organs of being better (Fox, et al); they are not. Hence, my disgust at broadcast news and my avoidance of same.
[I must here make clear that once or twice a year I do dip into broadcast news and I inevitably - absolutely always, I say! - come away in total disgust with your former employer, the CBC, the purveyor of tripe that favors certain political viewpoints and trashes all else. The other broadcast organs only marginally better, in my view.]
The written medium allows for more content (thankfully!) and therefore nuance is possible. I find that various publications have an editorial stance that is usually clear and allows one to take into account that perspective in the stories and columns.
Having made the last point, I am enraged by the stupidity of many columnists and reporters who, again, make the assumption that anyone who doesn't share their own (individual or corporate) viewpoint is foolish or corrupt or a non-thinking moron or all of those. For that example, I hold the Toronto Star in the most contempt. Now, having savaged the Red Star, I have to say that some (only some!) of their columnists do provide balanced commentary and argue all sides of an issue; I may or may not agree with that commentary but it does get me thinking. Clearly, there are examples of right leaning perspectives that similarly enrage me (for the same reason) but the one point gives me a problem with all of these rags, whether left or right leaning, is that they simply don't ask WHY someone might reasonably think differently than them and explore the resulting "flaw" in their own ideologic perspective. And here I thought WHY was an important journalistic issue!
In reading the interview (thank goodness for transcripts!), I very much liked the idea of "why we did this piece." There are many times that I see a piece that causes me to wonder why I should take the time to read it; such a quick precis of the issue would be quite useful because there are times that I miss something or times that I simply do not understand the nature of a different perspective so I don't read the piece. Again, a useful piece of information.
So, yeah, I also avoid much of the news but wish that so much of it wasn't so distressing in it's bias; distressing content I can deal with but bias not at all. Please remember, that "news" is supposed to tell us something "new;" it doesn't need to tell us endlessly why we are morons for not holding the author's opinions.
Completely missing from the conversation:
1. who owns the media? 2. what is their main source of revenue?
Answer those questions and everything else falls into place.
The mainstream media has been the mouthpiece for the military industrial complex for some time. Witness the numerous generals and ex CIA officials who are contributors.
Also odd that when media make reporting mistakes, they almost always are done on the side of hurting conservatives.
Add to that the collusion between the Clinton campaign and media outlets to propagate the fake Trump Russia collusion hoax, and you have half the country who will never trust the press again.
That’s not even including the press calling Hunter laptop story Russian disinformation, or the complete ignoring of election fraud or true issues with January 6 (14,000 hours of unreleased videos, video of police letting protestors in, who is Ray Epps etc.)
The media simply don’t ask the hard obvious questions anymore.
But they made their bed, and I have no sympathy for them.
I so welcome the appreciation for the Christian Science Monitor. It is such a shame that so many people assume that it is a religious publication. Amanda's characterization of the content is spot on. In addition to the fact that the editors "have your back" and the Points of Progress section, they have a weekly "People Making a Difference" profile, which is always an object lesson in "hope, agency, and dignity." I read the Monitor cover to cover every week, and have been a subscriber since it was published as a print periodical every weekday (when I still read it cover to cover). I hope your listeners and readers will consider subscribing to it--there are both print and digital options.
Thank you, thank you for this articulation of the effect news consumption and viewing has on human psyches. I have thought for a long time that news is designed to draw us in, just like an accident on the side of the road makes us slow down because it is something different than we see everyday. The problem is that the news has to keep becoming more sensational and tragic in order to hold our attention. I believe the news could be more hopeful. And by the way, I am one of those therapists that suggests to my clients who are despairing and anxious that they stay away from most news reporting.
Start by listening to these podcasts:
Then read Epoch Times and listen to Epoch TV https://www.theepochtimes.com/epochtv?utm_source=epochtv.com
You have a lot of catching up to do.