Thursday, March 19, 2009
You're probably sick of me writing about how much I love Nicholas Kristof. I confess, I don't read his columns every week, but whenever I do, I am comforted to read the reasoned thoughts of an honest-to-goodness journalist, the real deal... not someone who gets themselves a blog or a TV show, spouts their opinion (hiding behind the "I'm asking questions no-one else will!" crap when we know full-well why people aren't asking those questions...because they're skewed!), and considers themselves in the same standing as Murrow. Oof, it makes my blood boil I tell you!
Today's column is particularly brilliant. Kristof takes on the idea that the fall of national newspapers, due to our scampering to the vast range of "news" sources online, spells trouble. Not just for the newspaper industry but for society as a whole, because left to our own devices, we have been searching out only those news sources that confirm our own world views or prejudices, because that is more COMFORTABLE than reading newspapers or watching traditional news shows that challenge our preconceptions.
He goes on to point out that the movement is just one symptom of a larger problem -- that we, as a country, are holing ourselves up both figuratively and physically, amongst those just like us. In the wake of the recent election, I felt that effect acutely here in LA, where the overwhelmingly "blue" nature of this town is mostly comfortable to me (gimme that healthcare! Cut that war out!)... until I start talking to people about traditionally "red" issues like, say, abortion. You all know how I feel about that! (I still treausre that discourse so deeply in my heart. Thankyou guys!). I remember a friend saying to me, "I've never actually met anyone who believes what you do". I like to think that suddenly, those people on the other side of where she stood were 3-dimensional, not just a bunch of kooks trying to control other people's lives.
Isn't that a sad state of affairs? Isn't a melting pot of ideas better than a homogenized one?
I can't put it better than Kristof, so here you go:
Something to think about, anyway. What do you think? Am I over-reacting? Do you think that you get a variety of news-related opinions/news sources every day? What news sources do you check out on a daily basis?
at 4:10 PM