I just found out that my hometown newspaper, The Post Register, will no longer be doing a Monday edition. This is a slippery slope my friends, as John McCain would say. Soon it will be 3 days a week, then a Sunday edition, and then it will poof into thin air, I am predicting anyway. It will disappear into thin air like so many other papers have recently. These economic times are rough, no doubt, but why do car makers, banks, and CEOs of corrupt entities get bailed out, while the fourth estate is squandering away? Is it because no one cares? Is it because people don't understand the necessity of journalism as a check on government?
I say yes to both. People don't care, so obviously government officials are happy to let the papers slip away, less investigation of themselves. I hear the phrase 'it's the media's fault' almost once a week, from church to school. But what is the media's fault? First, 'media' is a large, encompassing term, which includes everything, the good, the bad, entertainment and news. So people's looseness of this term leads me to believe they don't understand the role of the media. Second, the news media is not perfect, but reporting the hard issues that no one likes to hear is not 'their fault.' It's their job damn it! Americans need to get tough, and take a look at the news and realize we aren't the only country in the world with problems. People do not understand that without a free press, watchdogging, snooping, reporting, etc., there wouldn't be an America, a safe little haven they can hide away from the rest of the world's issues. This phrase disgusts me, and I have to hold my tongue when people use it.
A free press, as the founding fathers obviously knew, is interwoven with democracy. Why don't people understand that, why, please someone tell me! I know very few people, besides students and really old people, who read the newspaper. And they have no frikkin' idea what's going on even in their own community. I am beyond appalled. Why does knowing what's going on even matter? Because we all live on the same planet with limited resources, crazy dictators, epidemics, etc., and sooner or later, we will be, and are, inevitably involved in these issues. By letting the press slip away, our voice in our own nation and in the world on these issues also slips away, and therefore our freedom. Amen.