by Samuel Gerald (Jerry) Firman
If you think you read this before, maybe so but there weren't many comments. This was first published on August 1, 2012. It was written as I was preparing The Free Press for launch. Because of so many mentions of "our social site" by talking heads on various media I thought it might be prudent to bring this edited version back to NewsVine.
North, East, West, South. That is what I was taught created the word news. Information and facts from all directions. It all began, in modern times, with the printing press which led to newspapers then to radio and then television and now the Internet. These electronic devices followed the lead of printed paper to make the distribution of news an economical success. Notice, distribution of the news, not the creation of news, not the news itself, not even the veracity of reports. The distribution of news was where the money was.
Coincidentally, all of the media found they made even more money if they could attach advertisement to the news in some way. Above the fold, below the fold, right thumb, left thumb, top of the hour, bottom of the hour. At one time that was where the important news was carried, today they try to insert ads in those spots. Nevertheless, the media has served humanity well by spreading news, education and communications of all kinds around the world. News was the horse all media rode in on. News was the reason, everything else was gravy. At least it was the reason until publishers and broadcasters found they could make even bigger profits by cutting news to some minimum and inserting biased opinion and sensationalism as fake news. They had found the real gravy train. Real news has become difficult to find. There is so much money in stories about druggie celebrities and magical movies and the latest book by the corporation's latest pamphlet writer, there is no longer room for the news. They are presenting Yellow Journalism, misinformation and self promotion.
When the Internet first became popular, there were many honest attempts for legitimate news sites. A few still exist but many more have gone by the wayside. They couldn't survive for several reasons but the two main reasons they are gone is a lack of revenue and/or they were bought out by MSM that saw the hand writing on the wall. That handwriting said, "this new Internet practice will be able to publish and broadcast much cheaper than using all these massive presses, towering antennas and forests full of trees and large staffs". Now that MSM also owns most of the supposed news sites on line they are moving rapidly toward converting their news sites to cover the same material as their original media. Reporters have become superfluous and no longer needed by MSM to the previous extent. Extensive syndication of news has gone by the wayside. Just report the news handouts available from government and industry while chasing a few ambulances and fire trucks and they believe they are still providing news. If we ever have reliable news things will have to change. Something needs to take the place of all this Yellow Journalism.
Along comes the Citizen Journalist. Talk about handwriting on the wall. Talk about David slaying Goliath. Talk about losing while snoozing. MSM and Yellow Journalism will eventually meet their match. More and more plain citizen members of social sites, posters to MSM stories, geeks and nerds looking for work, and creative entrepreneurs are eyeing the possibility of linking enough Citizen Journalists together to create news syndicates based on facts and information reported from the source or site of occurrence to produce viable on line newspapers. It is possible that enough material could be gleaned from present social sites to produce such a newspaper using only fact and actual happenings instead of the propaganda and hype and sensationalism which exists now. In fact, this writer would wager that such entities already exist and are looking for walls to write on. Yellow Journalism ill eventually be defeated by black & white words written by the man or woman who is on site, watching the news as it occurs. Thanks for reading this, I have awakened and I am off to find my sling.
Does anyone else see the cracks beginning to develop on the face of our MSM? I see our favorite talking heads beginning to look toward company owned Internet sites, or rather social discussion tabs, as adjuncts to news reporting. Someday it will all come from the Internet. Could it be that the hacking of so many supposedly secure libraries is the leading edge of all Citizens becoming Journalists? Thanks for listening, again.