The life of a network news personality…Try wearing THESE shoes! - by A.J. Ward

Put yourself in the place of your everyday local news station reporter.

Let’s say I’m your boss (I own the station that gave you your job), and I’m just like any other boss who is looking out for the corporate “best” interests (profitability and shareholders, right?). My paying advertisers and I have a particular point of view (with a purpose-profit) and I personally review the “stories” of the day (or have my station managers do it). I will only allow certain messages that support my point of view (and puts money in my pocket). Sound reasonable so far?

I also happen to own dozens of stations across America. To save money, I don’t want a bunch of “reporters” running all over the country, doing their own stories and adding to costs (except in cases of natural disasters when I can send them into the eye of the storm…so funny). On slow days, I can “borrow” stories from other networks, run sound bites with a “spin” to make it our own, and pocket the money that would be otherwise used for silly things like having reporters spend valuable time checking validity and resources.

And then I have to consider political ramifications. Will this story receive howls from the White House? I already know that if I allow a damaging political report to escape without spinning and marginalizing the truth, I will be publicly called out by the president (or Karl Rove…ouch) and his “freedom hounds” will come knocking (see Dan Rather). So, I take the path of least resistance and water down your information and pocket more of your money. YOU (as one of my reporters) will give the news as I deem it, and if you do not, I will find someone else who will.

Are you feeling me yet? My own interests prevent me from allowing any information to be disseminated that may cause public (political) friction or cost me money. So, I’m going to bring you sensational court trials and stories about the local rapist that is on the loose. Why bother with stories that affect society on a national or global scale when I can do “spin” that keeps me out of trouble and the advertising revenue rolling in?

Now our station sounds just like every other station in the country (why not? I own them all!). Since my profitability also requires legal wrangling (so I can buy more stations), I fully support any politician that is looking out for me. I need more deregulation…to whom can I give money to make that happen (hmmmm…anyone in Congress need a donation)?

Now I have a new problem. Since my stations are NOT reporting the news, there is a void that the so-called “thinking” Americans are looking for. Sure, I am pandering to the people who actually live for the flash and trash, but now I have painted myself in a corner with no retreat. I don’t have a solution…I can’t possibly start reporting REAL news.

Enter independent media. These freaks think they can start reporting on real current events and make me look bad. I have no other choice but to slander them, marginalize them, and otherwise ignore them. So what if they are reporting about massive protests all across the country. Election voting machine irregularities? Posh! As long as I stay away from stories like that, most of the country won’t even know that there IS a different point of view…heck I OWN the station in your back yard! You can’t stop me!!

Who cares about what the public thinks, as long as they are lining my pockets! Most of my audience doesn’t waste time searching the internet to research anything anyway, so I can tell them anything. By the way, I know you spent all of those semesters in school trying to learn how to be a real journalist, but you work for ME now. You do what I say (or else I’ll find someone who will…lest I remind you)!

OK, I’m back. The boss’s shoes are off, and now I’m the “consumer”, just like you.

If this does not dispel the notion of a “liberal media”, I don’t know what can. I know where to find the “liberal media” and it sure doesn’t come from my cable TV. I used to live by the evening news, and found them wanting. I was frustrated by the lack of real information during the campaign season, and I was pushed to the internet to find alternatives. Finding real news from the world and current events through many alternative sources helped me realize that all of my local and cable “news” coverage of events were just spinning opinions and flash…not the red meat we need to make intelligent decisions at the voting booth. Ever wonder why “water cooler” discussions seem to go nowhere? Most of your “mates” are watching FOXNEWS and all of the mirror news networks. Isn’t anyone sick of that Scott Peterson trial? Martha Stewart? Come on, there are more important stories going on in the world today!

If you want to know what is REALLY happening in the world, you will be better served by independent media sources…not the corporate media. What is “corporate media” you ask? We are talking about the few big conglomerate companies who operate ALL of your major TV networks. (See list below)

Whether you are leaning conservative or liberal, any thinking American would agree that we need all of the facts. It took me quite some time to find alternative sources since I had nothing to go on in the beginning. Eventually I discovered programs like “Democracy Now”, IndyMedia, Air America, and dozens of other sources. Want to read how the “Drug War” is going? Try Narco News on the internet. There are, of course, so many more that I have not even begun to list. One of my favorites are the Pacifica radio stations. Now THERE’S a “liberal” station in a churning sea of radio spin! They are quite different from the White House’s definition of what is “liberal” (unless they mean ANYTHING that makes the president look bad…waaa).

Now when I watch the evening news, I recognize the “spin”. I understand flash and trash when it shows up on “breaking news” segments. Is there anything on the networks that we can sink our teeth into anymore? I haven’t seen it in a long time.

“My name is Rupert Murdock, and I do not approve of this message.” -A.J.

A.J. Ward is a new writer on the "blogger" scene. He has been sharing his writings with several Peace and Democratic email server lists for some time now, and this is his first submission in the
internet-publishing world. He is dedicated to spreading the word about conventional media bias and researching the events of 9-11. "The truth is out there"! ...even here in Texas!



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