Friday, March 02, 2007

Where's The News?

Looking at the "news" headlines the last couple of weeks, it's not hard to see why many Americans are ignorant of what is happening in this country and the world. Many Americans are very poor at world geography and history. They couldn't even find such countries as French Guyana, New Guinea, Burkina Faso and Oman on a map.

How many of your neighbors do you think could tell you what is happening in Sudan, Dardur, Venezuela or Lebanon right now? And these are countries that have had a tiny bit of coverage lately.

I'll bet nearly anyone you meet could tell you what's happening with Anna Nicole Smith or Britney Spears though. After all, these have been the top stories on all the news programs lately. But is this really news?

When I was younger, news giants like Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntly and David Brinkley filled us in on what was happening in our country and the world. They left the entertainment updates to others because they knew it was not really news.

Nowdays, a good part of a newscast is spent advertising the networks other shows that are coming up. This is even true for the so-called 24 hour news stations. Maybe it is time to remind these networks just what news is.

I forget who said it, but I like this definition. News is what makes those in power uncomfortable - everything else is either publicity or propaganda.

How can we expect Americans to be educated to what is going on in our country and the world, when all we give them is publicity and propaganda?


  1. Where's the news? It's out there, but you have to dig a little for it. Like this story, for instance. (Don't click on the link until you've finished reading this comment. Otherwise you won't be able to get back here without re-entering the comments.)

    Maybe the reason the networks haven't picked up on it is because it doesn't fit nicely into the "It's a quagmire/The Iraqis can't fight on their own/It's a civil war/We're destined to lose" template.

  2. My point is that we shouldn't have to dig for it.

  3. P.S. Bush has already lost the Iraq war.

  4. P.S. Bush has already lost the Iraq war.

    It looks like you've bought into the "It's a quagmire/The Iraqis can't fight on their own/It's a civil war/We're destined to lose" template, too.

    I wish I could be as certain (one way or the other) as you seem to be. Have mistakes been made? Plenty, dating all the way back to the period immediately following major hostilities. Is the situation still grim? Absolutely. Can the Surge turn this around? After some promising signs over the last three weeks, I'd have to say maybe. One gauge of progress will be this: If the mainstream media continues to dwell on Britney Spears and who gets the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, I'd say the Surge is probably working.

    Let's revisit this six months from now.


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