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May/June 2002
Volume 10 Issue 2
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Girl Dumps Network News for Independent Media!

by Sarah Watson (Class of 2001)

I’ve finally given up on broadcast news. Good-bye FOX, MSNBC, CNN, CBS and ABC. Good-bye, sensationalized news and incessant, unrelenting war coverage. Good-bye, flippant reporters – and good riddance.

My first objection is sensationalism. I cringe every time crime, politics and current issues (such as a certain war on terrorism) are covered as if they were the Emmy Awards or a sports event. (The latest on Osama: he’s in Pakistan! Oh wait! This just in: Bin Laden is hiding out in an Afghanistan cave! Let’s go to our famous expert for some commentary.) When somebody is murdered or a plane or bus crashes, the talking heads pounce on the story and don’t let go, going on and on about this person, and that clue, what the investigators said this morning compared to last week and how sad the situation is, for days. Non-stop coverage of 6-year-old beauty queen Jon Benet Ramsay’s murder in 1996 lasted weeks, and reporters still bring the subject up today.

I understand that news has to be ‘entertaining’ or it will lose viewers to the entertainment shows with which it competes for ratings, but frankly, I’d rather be entertained by something that’s actually funny. Anything subsequent to reporting the facts qualifies as sensationalism in my book.

Along the same lines, television news coverage is overdone. As Sgt. Joe Friday liked to say in the old cops-and-robbers show Dragnet, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

What part of those four words does the news media not understand?

If I snicker at the sight of MSNBC’s Ashleigh Banfield dressed like an Arabian sheik, tramping around Afghanistan with an armed convoy or pistol-packing Geraldo Rivera of FOX News wrapped in scarves while exploring caves, imagine what the rest of the world thinks. Puh-leese! Is it just me, or is this getting ridiculous?

Whatever happened to well-rounded, intellectual reporting on political, social and economic issues? Yes, it’s sad that Jon Benet Ramsay is dead. Sad things like murder happen all the time. So why does the entire world need to know every single detail of her murder?

In 1942, University of Chicago President Robert Hutchins led an investigation into the mass communications industry. His commission interviewed hundreds of industry officials and concluded that the foremost demand of society for the communication of news and ideas is ?A truthful, comprehensive and intelligent account of the day’s events in a context which gives them meaning.? Right now, the only thing I see when I turn my T.V. on at anytime of day is coverage of ?The War on Terrorism?. How comprehensive is that?

The internet is now a mainstream alternative to ‘infotainment’ news shows and sensationalism, offering comprehensive and intelligent information for the discriminating media consumer. Independent news forums, alternative news sites, and access to international newspapers and intelligence data inform, educate and enlighten my inquiring mind far better than the nightly news ever did.

I highly recommend you check these online alternatives out, if you have a bit of spare time. Beware: they’re addicting!!

StratFor is a comprehensive geo-political and geo-economical news/analysis site, highly recommended. http://www.stratfor.com

Watch.org is similar, but emphasis is on Israel/Middle East issues and biblical prophecy...http:// www.watch.org

WorldNetDaily is a nationally recognized alternative conservative online ‘newspaper’, including analysis and opinion pieces...slightly more mainstream... http://www.worldnetdaily.com

Freerepublic.com is a conservative news forum, interesting info pops up at times...nice place to communicate w/ other people...http://www.freerepublic.com

Matt Drudge posts tomorrow’s headlines as soon as they appear on the wires...he also posts wire reports which would never make it to the newspaper...! http://www.drudgereport.com

Sarah is a graduate of homeschooling through Royal Academy and is currently pursuing her many interests which include college courses online, culinery arts, the family business, music and writing and investigating anything and everything!

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