What happened to journalism?

This past weekend I opened my local newspaper and on the front page, I saw not one but two glaring typos in the sub-headings. These were words that were irrelevant to the heading and were not caught by spell check. It sent out different messages to me. First I had to guess at what the correct word was they were looking for in order for it to make sense. Don’t reporters review their work anymore? How could an editor allow these kinds of mistakes?

I worked for a newspaper twenty years ago. My editor had words with me on a regular basis about how I didn’t adhere to Associated Press standards. When I wrote for magazines the editors said they didn’t have to change a word. Regardless, it’s obvious that this kind of standards has been thrown out the window in favor of anything to sell a paper. How can you have any respect for those that just do what they want?

AP says transparency is critical to their credibility. Today sources quotes are taken out of context and used to fit their agenda. How many times are anonymous sources used when AP is adamant that those sources only be used if:

  •  The material is information and not opinion or speculation, and is vital to the news report. That would hinder sales.
  • The information is not available except under the conditions of anonymity imposed by the source. lol
  • The source is reliable, and in a position to have accurate information. LOL again.

Millions of Americans now find other sources for information because the Mainstream Media cannot be trusted. The great Walter Cronkite would be appalled by the media today. Wake up media and report the news, the facts and not just those that fit your monologue.

Hope for Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing

As a fan, I’ve laughed a lot over the years at the man who is notorious for comedy. You know who he is kids know him as Santa Claus in the comical Santa Claus movies. Even more of us recall him as “Tim the tool man Taylor” from the TV series “Home Improvements” and/or a host of other movies like “Wild hogs” and “Big trouble”.  ABC shocked America with news that their second most watched show Last Man Standing is canceled!

Tim’s latest //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>Tweet said, “Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home the past six years.” That being said, the Fox network is working to find a place for the blockbuster comedy show. The show isn’t simply a comedy it features family, moral values, and everything that has been an American heritage. ABC claims the show wasn’t canceled because of political reasons but it seems all too apparently not true. It’s considered the biggest, hit sitcom since “All in the Family.”

Allen’s character Mike Baxter was a staunch conservative along with one daughter stood against the Obama tirade of government overreach etc. Baxter aside from his one daughter had his wife and other two daughters along with a son-in-law that were liberals so the show had it all. The irony was Allen’s prior successful TV series he had three sons whereas here he was surrounded by women.  Several of those stars made appearances on this program.

Perhaps things are working out for the best as FOX would seem to be a better home for his conservative brand of comedy. Regarding living in Hollywood on Jimmy Kimmel Allen said, “You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You’ll get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes, it’s like ’30s Germany.”

As the voice buzz lightyear alway said, “To infinity and beyond.” As the captain in Galaxy Quest said, “Never give up never surrender.” Real words to live by.

 

The media has lost its way

Yellow Journalism is a term that was first coined during the famous newspaper wars between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer II. Pulitzer’s paper the New York World and Hearst’s New York Journal changed the content of newspapers adding more sensationalized stories and increasing the use of drawings and cartoons. Sound familiar now?

Pulitzer began to publish a cartoon of his own that he titled “The Yellow Kid” in 1896. The cartoon became one of many objects fought over between Hearst and Pulitzer during their rivalry. Hearst later took R.F. Outcault the creator of the cartoon from Pulitzer the news was over-dramatized and altered to fit story ideas that publishers and editors thought would sell the most papers and stir the most interest for the public so that “Newsies” could sell more papers on street corners.

During the Spanish-American War Hearst was the first newspaper to station a team of reporters in Cuba to monitor the events happening there. When a reporter sent a telegram telling Hearst that there was not much going on there, Hearst replied with his famous telegram,”You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” What our networks are doing today is no different.

Media needs to be objective, accountable, and responsible in their reporting. Actor Denzel Washington, an actual victim of the now labeled “fake news” lie, aimed his critical eye at the mainstream media last month and cited them as purveyors of today’s untruths. He said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed. In our society, now it’s just first who cares, get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it’s true. Just say it, sell it. Anything you practice you’ll get good at; including BS.”

My personal belief is perhaps Walter Cronkite was one of the last great reporters. He was far more objective than journalists today. Here in Arizona, we have the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and mass communication. I can’t say how objective they are but I hope instructors have open minds. Musically speaking, there’s a song by En Vogue called Free your mind that does an excellent job of summing up the solution to our media and race relations this country faces. “Free your mind and the rest will follow, be color blind don’t be so shallow, free your mind and the rest will follow.” The best advice we could receive to date.

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