I loved reading the news. When it was news.
As a young teenager, I used to go to the airport in Perth on a Saturday morning to buy newspapers from other cites, and countries. Living in an isolated city in Australia, I wanted to read and learn about alternative opinions and attitudes to the news of the moment.
Reading the news has for almost all of my life been my means of learning how other people think and react to the issues that confront us all every single day. Through great journalism, I learnt to understand the Vietnam War, changes in society values, Watergate and one thousand other issues. It was my way, as a young teenager, and then young adult, to learn how the world worked.
Sadly though, in recent years the Internet has served news very badly. Due to the cost cutting that has probably been necessary because newspapers just don’t sell anymore, professional journalists have been replaced by amateur bloggers, posing as journalists. The Huffington Post is one very poor example of this trend towards getting opinion dressed as news on the cheap. Well, for free in fact.
Unfortunately, this on the cheap, and even free journalism has now extended to very well known newspapers. I have been a Guardian reader for years, but when you pull back the cover of its reputation, it’s not difficult to discover that many of their main page stories are written by cheap and probably not paid at all amateurs. A click on their profiles normally uncovers someone trying to sell books or whatever. This is not journalism, it’s blatant self-promotion.
Then, when I try to get a balanced view of the world by reading RT, Middle East Monitor or France 24, what do I get? More of these amateur bloggers, posing as journalists.
News, is news, but biased, racist, sexist, naive and bigoted opinion is not news. It’s propaganda.
It’s a sad end, as opinion and propaganda has won, as unbiased news is no longer worthy of reporting. We will never ever know of the next Watergate. We have probably missed 100 Watergates in fact. Journalism is dead.
No wonder I don’t waste money on newspapers anymore.