Why I Don’t Read a Newspaper

Category: Social Media Social Good Series

Los Angeles Times cover

I grew up with The Los Angeles Times. It was MY paper. I had my reading routine – the order I’d read each section of the paper. It was comforting and I felt naked without it: until I grew up.

By “grew up” I mean until I stretched my belief system beyond how I’d been raised and beyond the me, Me, ME of my (boomer) generation. I broadened my political view and realized that all I’d been taught was not as it seemed.

I also began to learn and realize how much many papers reported through their bias and their political agenda. Over time, I learned this was nothing new. Historically, the newspapers in The United States have had political leanings.

Newstand

When every big city in America had a paper, it was a real business. There were legit journalists and many papers, while espousing a point-of-view, would offer the opposing view to a degree. The L.A. Times often had on their editorial pages the left and right view on a topic.

With time, however, more and more papers were letting their politics impact how and WHAT they reported. So, for instance, whenever reporting something about the issues in The Middle East, the left-leaning papers like the L.A. Times, would show a poor Palestinian child who was the “victim” of a bombing or some violent act. They would NOT explain or portray the fact that the Palestinians surrounded the sites from which they sent bombs into civilian areas in Israel by the hundreds/thousands with lots of women and children so they could propagandize any “collateral damage.”

Chicago Tribune on JFK assassination

The truth was that the Palestinians actually sought said “collateral damage,” but if you looked at the photos and didn’t know the rest of the story, you would believe that Israel was willfully hurting women and children.

The more I learned about what and how mainstream media did reportage the more I became grateful for The Internet and Talk Radio which, before Fox News, were the only bastions for another view or more balanced views with at least some dose of reality. As much as Fox News is disparaged by the MSM and the left, they almost ALWAYS have a credible representative from the left on most of their “opinion” shows.

Can the same be said for MSNBC? Even the lauded New York Times has maybe one very moderate-leaning conservative on their editorial staff with the vast majority of their writers leaning left or far left.

New York Times

A recent poll quantified how few mainstream reporters – in print or video – have conservative political allegiance.

After one-too-many biased front page stories in The Los Angeles Times, I finally cancelled my subscription — perhaps 15 years ago. I switched to The Daily News, which was slightly more balanced in their reportage. Soon thereafter, I dropped them for the same reasons.

I often argue with friends in education about my belief that journalism is largely dead and has been replaced by “opinionism.” Objective and real investigative reporting is rare. When Dan Rather humiliated himself with a bogus story about Bush, it sort of sealed the reality that journalism, as we knew it in the Edward R. Murrow days, was long deceased.

Le Monde

There’s only one thing I still miss from my formerly beloved Times and that is the Sports Page where I could read and know about schedules and results. Naturally, that is all available online but I tend to miss some “news” about sports and some big games because I don’t have that daily reminder.

But, my peace of mind is more important than missing a game. Do you still read a newspaper?

  • jack43

    I grew up with the Baltimore Sun and H.L. Mencken, J. Aubrey Bodine, and a slew of great journalists. As I matured, I read multiple newspapers because, like you, I learned that every one of them had its ideological persuasion that influenced the reporting of news. I laugh today at the attacks on Fox News for “bias”. Of course they have bias. The real problem is that their bias isn’t the one shared by most of the main stream media.

    Now, I get most of my news from the Internet. I read the websites of traditional newspapers as well as independents. News is old by the time it appears in print and grows staler by the minute.

    Anyone who is serious about the news must approach it like a jurist in a court room. Recognize that each side has an advocate who will interpret every piece of evidence to fit their chosen vision of “truth”. It’s up to the jury to use common sense and their experience to decipher the opposing arguments and determine what is truth for them.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Extremely wise comment @jack43:disqus – thank you so much!

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Nope Bruce. The news, although sometimes important for informing the public, is geared toward appealing to our fears. I’m an infinitely happier, healthier and successful person, and make a helluva bigger difference in folks lives, since I stopped reading or watching the news 😉 Thanks!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      I so understand @ryanbiddulph:disqus

  • http://www.stirringtroubleinternationally.com/ Stirring Trouble International

    Thanks for Twitter invite to read Bruce. Sunday is a great ritual for reading. So many topics and textures. It’s great reading opinions from writers who know how to objectively explain what is going on. In still peace in reader’s and other authors. The effects are quite outstanding and often bring interesting around the table conversations.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @stirringtroubleinternationally:disqus – that is OUR job as writers, IMO!

  • David Weber

    Yes.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Do you still get a paper, David? If so, which one?