Lopsided news from networks

Growing up everybody, for the most part, trusted and believed what you read, heard or saw in the news. Then there was a trust and respect that was earned by journalists and reporters for most of us it was the only source and contact with the outside world. Then things evolved as TV brought us live video from the Vietnam War and from there we’ve been on the technology express.

Now we get breaking news breaks online, we hear about a lot of major events only moments after it happens. As a result for the past ten years or more public trust in the traditional news sources has dwindled. “Public trust in traditional media has fallen to an all-time low as people increasingly favor their friends and contacts on the internet as sources of news and truth”, according to Financial Times earlier this year.

Case in point goes back to the 2016 Presidential election where the media’s reports were the other candidate won the election. The media along with the other party blamed the loss on Russian interference. Mainstream media and celebrities spent a shocking 75 percent of their time since then discussing Russian/Trump collusion theory.

It has now been proven to not only be false but the FBI has revealed that President Obama and Hillary are guilty of Russian collusion. Surprisingly the media hasn’t mentioned this news except for a minute of time and print. Trust is a difficult thing. The saying “fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me” is evident. What does the future hold for the networks?

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Setting a scene

Television and movies directors spend a great deal of time in the setting of a scene.  Of course, scenes vary from the tame and docile to the exciting and frantic spectrums. It’s not uncommon for the opening scene in a television show or a movie to start out peaceful and quiet. But particularly today’s action movies start out with fast-paced conflict and struggles. Box office numbers revealed that high-speed action captures the audience early on and holds their attention.

The same principles apply to posting on the internet. Sure most everybody likes the classic piano playing cat video but thrilling action catches the viewers attention. Does your story need fast-action appeal for a kickstart? That is up to you and whether the action fits in with your storyline.

As the writer only you know how and where the scenes play out in your production. Is a rock-n-roll beginning the best way to begin your story? Then again perhaps your storyline is more of a waltz or something that builds a crescendo into a fever pitch. Whatever your theme is, be sure to use the appropriate direction as the director.

Very interesting

When you find something is of great interest you continue to observe or read on. If it catches your eye, peaks your interest you are compelled to forge on. As a writer, it’s your key to hold the reader’s interest or you inevitably will lose them as they move on to something else.

Depending on your subject say perhaps current events an insiders perspective could turn some heads. Celebrity interviews are always a hit. For most of us, celebrity interviews are unattainable. Something that most reporters have shied away from in recent years is human interest stories.

I know growing up TV and newspapers did a lot of special interest stories especially the smaller local ones. The interest is the human, personal factor it’s something we can all relate to. If it interests you chances are it will be of interest to someone else but of course, you can never please all of the people all of the time.

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.

Quill to parchment

The quill to parchment method of writing was used for centuries, no for two millennia with paper finally replacing parchment as the writing surface. Although it is reported that paper was invented in China about 105 AD made of bark, fibers of rags, and hemp. Before the quill, the writing instrument was the reed pen who’s origin was about 400 BC. Both were dipped into ink to write with, although the quill was much more durable made of a feather that could be cut down to sharpen it for extended use much like a pencil.

The pen and paper obviously are still used but is slowly being phased out with tablets and computers as the writer’s choice. It should be mentioned that the quill and reed pen utilized capillary action where ink was drawn up into the instrument and slowly released as you wrote on the surface. You think there’s a problem with modern fountain pens there was no comparison for an entire document could be destroyed by a pause with ink flowing and/or dripping across your work.

Progress has yielded convenience and efficiency to our fingertips. We have it so easy compared to our ancestors and still, some of us balk at sending a relative so much as an email.  Imagine how hard that letter would have been with a quill and parchment. The mind can only imagine what the future has in store for later generations as a means to communicate. Telepathy?

How much can a blanket cover?

I love how the daily posts select words that have more than one meaning in fact blanket covers even more than the mind can comprehend. In the new TV series Genius” Einstein in referencing the cosmos made a blanket inference in relation to time, relativity, and space. But bringing it back down to earth a salesman loves to hear his customer issue a “blanket purchase order” that covers all their needs in relation to his product.

Salesmen, lawyers, and other professionals use the blanket term sometimes daily so it is a hardworking expression that covers more territory than Texas. Typically most of us do have finite limits for blankets in size. There are specific sizes for a king, queen, and full-size beds and of course, there are the ever popular smaller “throw” blankets for snuggling under while sitting in your easy chair or even keeping warm outside around a campfire.

My featured picture is one of a handmade unique size woven version made for me by my Mother. It boggles my mind on how much time and how tedious it must be to create something like this. That’s my take for I’ve never woven anything then again I’ve built hundreds or thousands of cabinets which also takes time and like the blanket, you have a finished product made with your own hands to show for it.

In almost every sector of most of the products we use every day, the handmade versions are being replaced by machines mass production in factories. Still, many of us can appreciate the quality of something that’s handmade, just thinking of the quality and care that went into making the end result. Salute to the craftsmen and craftswomen out there.

Blanket The Daily Post

Arid desert alive and well

Years ago I used to listen to my favorite sports team live from Arizona. I heard all the fans cheering on their team and I thought I can’t image that many people down there j the desert. I thought how and why would they live there. It had to be hot, dry and awful in that arid climate without water.

Now after living here for over 20 years, I’ve learned to appreciate the desert. We may be in the middle of a 20-year drought but lately, we’ve been blessed with an unusual amount of rainfall. The desert has plenty of greenery, the only downside being we‘re going to have a bumper crop of tumbleweeds this summer. It’s amazing how those sagebrush grow every year and uproot travel with the wind coming to rest in a fence and sometimes the grille of your vehicle.

Every year people migrate to the southwest, some for vacation, like the snowbirds that are everywhere now. Others are told to move here in the arid climate for health reasons. Subsequently, the growth has presented new problems with not enough water to support the population. The primary source of water is the mighty Colorado river, its blessings of rainfall that renews our hope for tomorrow.

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A juicy story brewing

More people are history buffs than you would imagine. In fact, there are more people interested in the history behind the Salem witch trials as evident with all the TV shows, movies, and documentaries. The supernatural is something that science cannot explain so it mystifies people and plenty of juicy stories originate from the early beginnings.

The witch burning, hangings, and the little-known laying weights or heavy stones on their chests to obtain a confession or until it often killed them are all a curious thing. Back then some men in power used the process to eliminate their competition. Sad how people could react and allow such terrible things to be done because of fear. But we don’t have any of that today -right?

So back in the day, we had the TV show Bewitched and the more recent movie by the same name. My favorites are Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler which is more of a comedy along with Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock and Nichole Kidman. Then there’s Witches of Eastwick and literally hundreds of other movies and TV shows. Who out there is amazed that Supernatural is in season 12? I personally like “the boys” and their cast of misfits. Maybe it’s the classic rock evident throughout the series.

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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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Dylan anything but artificial

How do you describe the first songwriter to win a Nobel Prize in literature? Most any word but artificial will suffice. The media is calling him “impolite and arrogant” for going into hiding after receiving the award.  Those in the media taking this attitude apparently don’t know Bob Dylan. He spent the early part of his career behind the scenes writing songs for many other recording artists. To me, it comes as no surprise for him to react this way.

I was but a kid when Dylan, 75 was already mastering his art. One of his best-renowned work is “Blowing in the wind” made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary in 1963. One of my personal favorites was recorded by Jimi Hendrix and also recorded by Dylan “All along the watchtower”. Dylan wrote a number of songs, acting as the voice of a generation. He wrote for himself and for artists leading the civil rights and anti-war movements like “The times they are a changin”. Another group that spoke for the baby boomer generation was the Beatles but they didn’t stay with us like Dylan.

Dylan is for real. He’s written songs for numerous movies like “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” in the film “Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid”. The Nobel prize will be officially bestowed to Dylan Dec. 10 in Stockholm; it only adds to his very long string of awards. The Daily Post Artificial