As we count down the remaining days of the year, I’d like to wish the readers of Food Safety News a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I thought I’d share with you my idea for a New Year’s resolution that we might all participate in as readers.
The history of 2016 is going to include a section on “Fake News.” Everybody is acting surprised even though it was all there on Fakebook, going back many months.
And the only reason Fake News was so successful is because two candidates were running for President who both stooped to such lows that one could not be sure whatever was being reported was not true without doing additional extensive reach on Google.
Maybe if the same thing was being reported on Drudge you could guess it was true because Matt was the one who got the Bill and Monica story out back in the day. (Just kidding, but this all had to start somewhere.)
Fake News was about clicks for Fakebook, clicks for Google, clicks for Twitter and Drudge and so on because the clicks turn into advertising revenue.
The real news business is hanging by a thread. Fake News is only the latest manifestation of how the entertainment whale has all but consumed the news minnow.
Entertainment news is in fact much more dangerous to our way of life than “Fake News” alone ever was. Local TV markets are now filled with what insiders call “Mommy news.” Nothing too hard or complicated. Don’t look for any investigative stories involving finances or engineering. Insulting to single mothers with children? Oh for sure, but just about everything the entertainment take-over of news does insults somebody.
When you next watch either the morning or evening network news, or a couple hours of cable news, try to track the content for what is news and what is entertainment.
My New Year’s resolution for readers does something about this. It is true that one person or one million people cannot overnight stop where this is going. But if you are like me and could care less than warm spit about the Kardashians and the other brain dead A-listers, join me in this plan.
The first thing is kill your social media. If you stay signed up to check on the extended family or whatever, that’s ok. I’m just saying cut back or kill social media in order to use that time for your own reading priorities.
Next, stop watching network news and cable television entirely. About 90 percent of what they do is to re-cycle the day’s entertainment news through a handful of people they call their “on air talent.”
Walter Cronkite is dead; and he is not coming back. So let’s devote our time to finding and following all the individual real journalists we can locate. Read those who interest us along with the dedicated news sites, like Food Safety News, that capture our own interests.
I know that it is not possible to totally filter out the entertainment news, but I am hoping that with a little work we can become refocused and avoid reading people who are nothing more than pimps for one entertainment venue or the other.
It would not surprise me at all if there are Food Safety News readers out there who are way ahead of me in using the available technology to deliver what they want to read. With time being our most valuable commodity, we are all interested in how to make it work for us. I’d like to hear suggestions on how to make the most of the inbox or delivery system.
If anyone out there has any advice in managing content, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
At the same time, if anyone wants to suggest reporters, especially with expertise in food and agriculture and the related sciences, pass along their bylines.
That’s my reader resolution. Free up some time by dumping social media and use it to read quality journalism before it’s extinct. I’ll report on how it’s going later on in 2017.
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