Monday, May 12, 2014

Check your sources...

I've written about this before in a round about way but I have it stuck in my head now and since this week is all about blowing out the systems you get it again...

I read Time and Entertainment Weekly. I listen to NPR to and from Brent's work roughly 5 days a week, probably 45 minutes total. I watch The Daily Show four days a week. And I am subscribed to a couple of local news stations' Facebook feeds for their weather reports. Basically just letting you know I am no news junkie. I don't read a daily paper (not local, not WSJ or NYT) I don't read an online daily news source (no CNN headline news or FoxNews homepage) I get most of my information from a gloss over news magazine, an entertainment report and a comedy show. I'm news light.

So when I rant about this next subject please understand where I'm coming from.

How often do you see a post about a story with the tag "I bet you won't see this on mainstream media!" or the more derisive "lamestream media" tag? It's quickly becoming a pet peeve of mine. First off because it's usually not accurate. Take the Nigerian school girl story, for instance, a couple of weeks ago it blew up on social media. "Why hasn't this been covered on mainstream media??" Well, it was. I knew about it. I heard about it when they were first taken, before the group that took them claimed responsibility. Not only did I hear about the story (including speculation that it was that terrorist group behind the kidnapping) I heard about the other girls that were taken before them. Oh did you no know about them? Or about the girls taken since? It's not because it wasn't covered, it's because you haven't been paying attention. Trust me, a hashtag on a instagram photo isn't the only place to get your information.

And before that the last big story was about that Bundy guy standing down the BLM. Now, I will say when I got the first "You won't hear about THIS on lamestream media" post in my feed, I hadn't heard about it. But it was a weekend and I don't tune in to much besides sports on the weekend so that wasn't super shocking. But here is the really weird part. Once I did get the first story about this HERO standing down the government who was coming to STEAL his cows for NO reason I went to Google and looked up more information. And of course got the rest of the story from lamestream media. Isn't that weird? How even though all of the stories said there wasn't information out there I looked anyway? And then found that there was! It's so's almost like the writers of that story only wanted me to see their spin. Now of course even MORE of his story has come out and the places that wanted to make him some sort of hero are back peddling just as fast as they can. But it was all out there. I didn't blame the news for me not being informed, they can write the story and if I don't read it, that's on me.

And that's really my point.

Most of the time it has been covered. The information is out there. And if it hasn't? Well, there's usually a reason for that as well. I get that the one story about the one kid in that one school that that one thing happened to fits your world view and you want it reported nationwide but it's one kid in one school one time and unless it's local, most of us don't care. And it's probably not that important to anyone else except that one kid, his family, and that school. It's probably not a trend. Or a disturbing sign of the coming apocalypse. It's really not news.

So I guess the bottom line for non news junkie, more concerned with playoff hockey right now than most other things, shallow world view me, is that if I know about it it's been reported. And if you are shocked that mainstream media hasn't covered it you need better news sources.

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