March 6, 2013

Nearly every Wednesday since 1996, the Think About It feature has been broadcast on the airwaves of KSRM 920am.

The commentary is usually penned by KSRM President and CEO John C. Davis, and KSRM News Directors past and present, Jim Heim, Joe Nicks, and myself Andrew Rogers.

Each week, the three to five minute oratory ends in the same way, “Think About It,” but how many times do those words get followed through upon?

It could be argued that one thing that is getting erased more and more over the past two decades from the social zeitgeist is critical thought. In the past ten-years especially, the twenty-four hour cable news network has been the largest culprit.

Why would anyone actively seek information to shape their view on the world around them, when Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC is always on, feeding one sided information geared to promote one specific political ideology rather than to inform their respective viewers?

When news was limited to one hour a night on just the three “big networks,” a viewer at home would be left to seek out more information about the story on the news the night before, and on the way would take in more information than they’d set out for, but more-importantly, they would come to a conclusion on their own.

Edward R. Murrow would report on issues such as the Truman Doctrine with black and white facts, rather than with catchy media friendly nicknames and misconstrued half-facts engineered to embolden the political rank and file of his target demographic.

What does it say about the world today, where it’s as easy for billionaires and multinational corporations to buy a “news” organization to forward their political agenda as it is for me to drive to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling for increased regulations, I’m calling for the audience to begin to demand better service.

It has been proven, that with the arrival of the large cable networks, those who religiously watch just one network, are statistically less informed than those who frequent various sources of information.

In my humble opinion, the primary goal for any organization calling itself a “news organization,” no matter the size, is to provide timely and accurate reporting of what’s going on in the city, state, country, and world; and to leave the formation of opinions to the listener, viewer, or reader.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” Can that be said about the U.S.A. today?

Does watching nothing but Fox News bash or CNN Boast the same action everyday accomplish anything, does it really help to forward the national conversation rather than further the partisan chasm that’s currently engulfing the nation?

So let me ask you, what do you want from your news? Do you want to be told what to think or do you want to form your own opinions?

If you take nothing more from this, please just take a moment and…Think about it.

AMR   3-6-13

Categories: Think About It

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