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No news is... very bad for the country
May 16, 2012 - Stephen Browne
Has everybody not seen the Time and Newsweek covers?
You know, the Time cover with a young blond mother breastfeeding a post-toddler, and the Newsweek cover labeled "Our First Gay President"?
When Henry Luce founded Time in 1923 he created the modern news magazine. Newsweek came along a decade later and provided the necessary competition that keep it on it's toes.
This makes it official, news magazines have joined the list of American institutions, which like the Ivy League universities... aren't what they used to be.
This isn't news, this is People magazine with less class.
The interest on the national debt alone is about equal to the entire military budget, Iran is within a hair of acquiring nukes and is run by certifiable lunatics who hate our guts, we've discovered enough oil under our own territory to make us an oil exporting nation again and no one is drilling for it, THAT'S NEWS!
Breast feeding is good for children. I know that. Is the president gay? I've heard the rumors and guess what, I DON'T CARE!
The good news is that the circulation figures of these once-revered journalistic institutions are in the toilet. Evidently people still want news. Newsweek was sold off by its parent company a while back, for one dollar. In my humble opinion, the buyer got ripped off.
I love journalism, it beats the heck out of working for a living any day. I love meeting people and telling their stories. I love writing even the most routine sorts of stories, and every now and again I get that cool feeling that something good happened because of something I wrote.
It used to be that local newspapers were what one small-town Oklahoma editor called, "the farm team" for journalists. Nowadays we have an odd inversion of the natural order of things. Journalism on the national level is too durned often done very, very, badly. But paradoxically, on the local level it is often done very well.
OK, maybe that's not a fair comparison. Local journalists can get far more familiar with local issues than big name journalists trying to cover a lot of ground.
But that still leaves the more ambitious of us feeling like, "Gee, I want to work up to the big leagues and do crummy journalism for more money!"
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