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Listening for the New-Told Lies

I was ruminating on a post. It would have been about how after I dropped reading the NYT when they went subscription that I wasn't reading any of my old news sources. And having dumped TV a few years back, I don't watch news much either.

I used to be a regular news junkie. I would blame my job for a while, since I had to keep on top of international events, but really, I just was an addict. At one time, I'd watch CNN, McNeil Lehrer, ABC News and read the Washington Post, the New York Times, and read in-depth stories on what piqued my interest.

By the end of last year, I'd weaned myself down to just bulletin reports (BBC, NPR, and CBC) in the morning. Down from two hours plus to fifteen minutes.

Then came Arab Spring, and a lot of what interested me earlier got me interested again. Yesterday, while recuperating from planting and turning over heavy clay soil, I decided to check out the news again. I was appalled at the complete waste of time it was. Nobody does news anymore. They do opinion pieces and corporate press releases disguised as news. The only decent outlets were BBC and Al-Jazeera, and BBC is looking more anaemic every day that the funding gets cut and threats of cutting continue.

Then today, Juan Cole summed it up properly, and pointed out exactly what the problem is.

[up on soapbox]

Celebrity gossip is not news. The world is in the grips of SYSTEMIC crises in energy, economics (of both financial and production nature), food supply, and political deadlocks. But those problems are so intractable that we are given a parade of scapegoats to pillory rather than topical and relevant news. Anything to enable the denial that we're part and parcel of our own problems. Or to suggest that we have any control over ourselves.

[off of soapbox]

Now back to pictures of pretty flowers. Ooo. Shiny!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 8th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
One of my favourite sources for progressive commentary is http://www.commondreams.org. It collects mostly editorials, but it also has news articles.
Jun. 9th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Good tip.
Jun. 8th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
Have you read </a>Flat Earth News</a>? Pretty much an attempt to explain what you're talking about...
Jun. 9th, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
No, but it sounds like a good read. Does it deal exclusively with Fleet Street?
Jun. 9th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC)
No, it deals with the industry as a whole. Mostly UK stuff, sure, but it doesn't matter, the fundamentals are universal in the Western world.
Jun. 9th, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
True enough. Tack that one onto the "to-read" list.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )