Everyone is a Local News channel today.
My experience with media mentioned below has only really been from the last couple years of Bush presidency. So if you feel differently, please keep it to yourself (just trying out my inner presidential voice - please feel free to comment).
Am not talking about Fox News and MSNBC. They are on their own mission. Never understood what CNN was upto. Always standing around trying to 'break' something. "We are here outside this white building – there is a car parked here – we promise we’ll break it when anything happens"
Local news used to be the worst. "2 shot here, building burning there, did your car dealer cheat you?, how to stop superbugs getting on your toilet seat, extreme weather - possibility of water falling from the sky, don't go out....." just a dump truck pouring trash on your head...listen to that in the morning and go on with your life into a normal city like a normal person. Everything was (still is) a catastrophe. And they investigate too "we were first on this scene, nobody else was here, nothing happened, our reporter is standing by to see if anything ever will. We WILL keep you posted"
NPR sounded reasonable, just a little boring :) It is the rest of the crowd this rant is about. Including prominent newspapers that predicted a landslide democratic victory in the last election. Everyone started becoming doomsdayers sometime during this election season. The candidate (everyone was only covering ONE candidate) said or tweeted something ONCE and he moved on to other things. Some good, most not. But my news feed looked like he was saying the same bad things every single day, even after months after a single tweet.
I live in a red state and work in a neutral one. Never saw a Blue banner. Maybe 1 out of 100 people I met was a blue candidate supporter. But my newsfeed looked like a landslide blue victory and real life looked just the opposite. And let's not even get into Google and Facebook news.
Now after election, it is just noise, about everything. Getting to a point where one cannot distinguish the good from the bad. The frontline documentary 'Divided States of America' - covered all events from Obama's first election to Trump's election - was my last straw. Got to see an entirely different side of events I've watched over these years in media I believed to be fair. This whole election now made sense. This movement started a very long time ago. Even Obama rode a wave of hope & change which was partly anti-establishment. Scott Brown’s takeover of a long time democratic seat in Massachusetts happened a few months into the president’s term back in 2009. The other 18+ politicians in this election had no chance. The tactics of the lead candidate that were being guffawed on every media – in hindsight - seems to be a well executed strategy exactly to mine the political environment.
For my change - have been trying different sources for the past few weeks. And cutting down on what goes in. Sounds like a diet – everything in moderation! Like John Oliver says on Last Week Tonight - all we need is a half hour to ‘break’ whatever happened during a week.
Am about 3 weeks into subscribing to the NPR politics podcast. It has been impressive. They do not have a schedule, an episode comes out when there is anything to discuss. Just a very neutral discussion on each topic. Just one example to illustrate how they operate:
Appointment of the President’s Chief Strategist to Principles Committee of NSC:
1. First they discussed principles committee vs. the NSC itself. What they are, which one requires a confirmation, which does not. Security clearances.
2. Discussed legality of the move – fully legal.
3. DID NOT rant on about the appointee – we have covered a full episode on this person – go here and listen. We will not take up time on that again today
4. Precedent of such a move: Quite normal. Previous President’s chief strategist used to attend meetings even though not formally nominated.
There – all you need to know, discussed the right way.
They have even started analyzing the President's twitter feed to see what positions he is taking on upcoming topics. Things are starting to look consistent - the most extreme stance is first taken on Twitter, then negotiated down from there.
Washington week on PBS also appears very good. Have only seen one episode so far.
Now that was US media. Can see the same happening everywhere. Last trip at New Delhi airport, am sitting there waiting to board my flight. TV screen shows a reporter standing outside the airport - big heading in front of him flashing - 'BREAKING NEWS: HEAVY FOG - 14 FLIGHTS AFFECTED'. Couldn't make out what he was shouting. But I guessed my flight was definitely one if the ‘affected’ 14 - we were 15 minutes delayed!