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Other Voices

Ok. So it always seems strange to me that in a world that’s so overloaded with media and information only a few – a handful, really – of messages actually get through at any given time. No matter how many newspapers and TV news programs and talk radio shows there are – you’re still getting only a couple of messages. Messages put out by corporate-media conglomerates and political machines. Not that I’m suggesting conspiracy. Not that I’m saying that just because ABC is owned by Disney you’re only getting Mouse-approved news. Not that I’m saying that political spin doctors own the airwaves. It’s just that corporate news outlets are more effective in getting news across because they have the most points of contact with the most people and because, by their nature, they can’t do in-depth news stories. When all the news is only superficial sound bites and 2-minute segments you’re just never going to get the whole picture. And when media companies spend half their time reporting on what their competitors are reporting, or what spin the white house press secretary is putting out there, your news picture shrinks even more.

So what to do? Even though I’m frequently tempted to just shut all the noise off, and even though the very idea of it is shudder-inducing, I’m pretty much convinced by now that the only answer is: More News. More news from different sources. On-line media, non-local newspapers, overseas reporting, personal accounts. I think that if you can get even a small sense of how other, non-mainstream-media people are seeing the world and current events then you’ll be giant leaps beyond the average person’s comprehension of the world. And that’s gotta be good, right?

Some resources:

News Directory – a directory for newspapers and magazines from around the world

Online Journalism Review – USC Annenberg’s journalism website

BBC News – ok, it’s mainstream, but it’s not U.S. mainstream

Salon.com – yeah, it’s liberal, but it’s also an interesting example of a modern, more flexible, less packaged news and opinion outlet

Also, add some blogs to your reading list. They’re first-person accounts of lives that aren’t yours. Take a peek – love ’em, hate ’em, if you find and regularly read a good blog, you’re going to learn something valuable.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. M | October 17, 2002 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    sigh. no one ever leaves me comments…

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