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Getting the news in the best possible ways
26 Dec 2022

              I no longer fall for it when anybody within 10 feet of me says something like, “It’s impossible to find news that’s fair.”

              Now that I think about it, I never really fell for it. But I used to let it go.

              I no longer let it go.

              You can find news that’s fair.

              And you need to.

              You’ll find it in the news section of a newspaper or on a news broadcast of any network channel and most streaming channels.

              And you’ll be better off for finding it. For finding just a straight up news broadcast or newspaper with straight up news.

              Because you’ll know what’s happening in the world, in the nation, in your community, depending on the scope of your media.

              And then, if you want some color, some righteous indignation, some reinforcement of your own opinions, you can read the opinion sections or watch the cable pundits or scroll Facebook according to your tastes.

              As long as you note the difference.

              There is news and there are views and they might be just a page or a channel apart, but the way you read or hear them should be miles different.

              And thanks to the day and time we live in, if you still aren’t sure you’re getting it straight, there’s another option.

              Now that we all have Internet and now that Google can find anything we want to know and YouTube can show us anything we want to see, we can get our news unfiltered.

              We often can go right to the source and see the event for ourselves.

              City council meetings. Presidential speeches. Awards ceremonies. U.N. talks. Press conferences.

              It’s one of the amazing positives of the time we live in and one we can take advantage of when we want to make sure we are getting things straight.

              You can’t watch everything, even on delay. That’s why news in newspapers and on broadcasts is so valuable. But only so much fits in a headline.

And only so much even fits in an article and it’s what the writer deems most important.

              I can say that because I used to write headlines and I used to write articles and I couldn’t include everything all the time.

There is so much that comes from observing the body language and hearing the words first-hand, much of it that can’t fit in a story.

              Pres. Biden’s speech about the nation’s efforts to thwart the newest strain of coronavirus is an example. The headline read, “President says it’s not like March 2020,” but I wanted to know more than that and more than what was included in the article that followed.

              A quick search on YouTube too me to the 22-minute speech, where I could hear the pleading in Pres. Biden’s voice one minute and the anger another, and feel the passion in his conclusion:

             “I want to sincerely thank you for your perseverance, your courage, your countless acts of kindness, love and sacrifice during these last two years,” he said, after acknowledging we were tired and frustrated.

             “Throughout our history we’ve been tested as a people and as a nation,” he said. “Through war and turmoil, when asked whether we’d be safe, whether it would be OK, whether we’d get back to who we are, we’ve always endured because remember there’s no challenge too big for America. I mean this -- from the bottom of my heart – no challenge. We’ve come through better and stronger because we stay together as the United States of America. That’s what we have to keep doing today. We can do this together, I guarantee you.”

              Maybe the place you get your news didn’t include that. Maybe it wasn’t as important as the parts of the speech that outlined the latest steps being taken.

              But it was important to me to hear that.

              Yes, we have news. Lots of it. And when it comes from the right source it is fair.  And we need it.

              And then, when we choose, we can get every last word and every small nuance by going to the source. We can read it, watch it, relive it.

              Because news matters. Learning for ourselves matters.

              And getting it straight matters.


First published in the Davis Journal, Dec. 2021


Louise R. Shaw