Earlier this fall I silently swore off news … stopped checking news websites … didn’t worry about catching the evening tv newscast … let my news podcasts go … There seemed to be plenty enough to do in my day. Didn’t miss the daily round up of worldwide catastrophes. Didn’t miss the crime reports, the political foofaraw, or the magazine style reporting that now seems to rely heavily on what is trending on Twitter or YouTube …
Then last week I was listening to CBC radio as I ran errands in my car. I DO like to catch the variety of shows they have and enjoy the personalities of their hosts. If I ever need to pick up another job in my retirement I would aim for something that would allow me to listen to CBC while I work … delivering mail … driving a truck … all things I am sure they are looking for seniors to do! 😉
A discussion about the media involvement with the US election prompted a guest to comment on the state of journalism in general. He reflected on the decreasing number of journalist positions in all types of media. He remarked on the increasing tendency of people to rely on ‘free news’ – tv news websites, Twitter feeds, Facebook … It got me thinking. How do I support the work of journalists? Independent investigation into issues that matter … WHO does that any more? I had certainly better not be relying on Facebook for my news feed. That is a whole other can of worms!
It seems to me that buying news it is like supporting local business. Supporting local food growers. Supporting important community infrastructure. I know advertising pays a big part of the cost of producing local newspapers. But I can’t see it paying for all of it. How do advertisers and owners influence the stories that get promoted in their papers? I really should be using some of my purchasing power to buy the product of local journalists. By local I am thinking my part of Ontario (Canada). That puts me back out there – looking at the ‘newsstands’. My preference is an online source. Or sources … I’m shopping for news – real news.