- Eye on Media
There is no question that local efforts to repeal key provisions of the NDAA and recent editorials opposing those efforts helped galvanize people to participate in a recent demonstration at The World newspaper but the pot had been simmering for a long while. Any organization that resorts to name calling to make a point is deserving of derision although conversely barely worth the bother.
The demonstration allowed an opportunity to bring attention to issues of local concern while pointing out that democracy is alive and well in Coos County regardless of what the editors would like its readers to believe. Democracy does require a fair and open press, however, to be really effective and in the minds of those attending and judging from the honks and thumbs up from passersby many agree The World does not fulfill that necessary role and even mocks the democratic process.
In Saturday’s “Cheers and Jeers” section of the paper the editors gave faint praise to the protest and in so doing confirmed my last statement.
Thanks for reading
We applaud the individuals who took time out of their busy days to assemble outside The World’s offices last Wednesday. Seriously, we do applaud you. That’s what being an American is all about. There are too many places in the world where where such an assembly couldn’t possibly happen.
A term “cheap grace” was coined in the early 1900s to denote taking the easy route to convincing oneself you are doing the right thing. Cheap grace can be likened to covering your car with support the troops magnets to make yourself feel good and to give the appearance you support the troops whether or not you actually do anything to support the troops. Cheap grace is like taking communion without the confessional. The paper applauds the demonstrators because such an assembly is what America is all about and too many places wouldn’t allow it. So the paper gets to sound all patriotic and pro-democracy without actually being patriotic or engaging in democracy… in other words, cheap grace.
The real dig, in my opinion was the headline, “thanks for reading”. What they are really saying is it doesn’t matter what they write we still read it anyway and they aren’t going to change, not for us, not for democracy. Business is not a democratic construct and The World is a business first a newspaper second.
Someone told me that one of the reporters said they do not consider MGx news. On this we can agree, I do not consider MGx a competitor of The World because we do totally different things. MGx may publish things that are news to some but what I try to do is provide analysis of reports published at news organizations and pubic meetings or at least raise questions that invite public debate about complicated issues, something the paper does not do. In my opinion, much of the reporting at The World is not news either and is more like press releases but that seems to be what passes for reporting in many papers these days.
For democracy to thrive we need a free press and so I hope more and more citizen journalists and activists work to pick up the slack left by papers like The World. Meanwhile, the paper still has the biggest bullhorn around but I will attempt to stop reading the editorials as long as people don’t send them to me and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Support alternative independent media and support democracy.