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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Is the media , "The enemy of the people?” as the President says over and over...and is believed, perhaps by as many as 1 of 3 Americans today.

National Enquirer

Well, I guess you could truthfully say, "Yes and No." But then comes the tough part: Where, and from whom, do you get "the real news?"

"Fake news! Fake news! Fake news," he says, and there is always some of that.

Take the National Enquirer, for example. It's been around since 1926 and has always sold well when displayed at grocery and other check-out lines, purchased on impulse because of its  often outrageous' grabber headlines.'

Weekly World News
Click on the National Enquirer link under its photo and you will see a large number of their covers showing what I mean. (FYI; David Pecker, who has been in the news lately, is the Chairman and CEO of American Media which publishes the National Enquirer...

... and also, one of my all-time favorite fun titles, "The Weekly World News: the world's only reliable news", which is no longer in print... but there was nothing like it, for sure! Check the link for a fun time.

The Onion
Then there is The Onion, a satirical newspaper founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 1988 which built his reputation for humor by its handling of real and fake stories, always with an amusing or amazingly unbelievable  twist. You can see more of their covers by clicking on the Onion link below the picture... and PS: This story, Sexiest Man, was believed as true "over there" and gathered a lot of steam.

Now THAT'S fake news. There is a lot of fake news on all platforms of social media, because,what is seen on the internet is ALWAYS TRUE, right? Problem is, it's hard to tell sometimes what is fake and what is real. And because it is repeated thousands of times does not make anything fake, real Really!

Now we have the more conventional news media... newspapers (what's left of them), television and radio. Sadly, newspapers, the best source of in-depth news and coverage, is fading fast, a victim of its time in the same market with social media, where most of the young and younger get their news, if any at all. Who has time to read something as antiquated and clumsy as a "newspaper.?" Advertisers who provide most of the newspaper revenue, have left that media for greater reach of their base on line. Sad for good reporting, but true. That time has mostly passed, never to return to former glory.

Do, however, make a distinction based on where you get your news. For the most accepted traditional newspaper (print)  and TV news media, there is a culture of reporting news as news. And yes, in the editorial pages and slant, there is often a viewpoint... but it is not covert and largely governed by its competition to make news fact based.

So what is true and what is fake? If social media is your bible, hope you get it right instead of just because you agree with it. In the newspaper business, truth happens much, much more than on line where everyone has and expresses opinion, often based on an oxymoron: "alternate facts," such as giant shrimp, deafening silence, clearly confused, amazingly awful, alone together, definite maybe, etc. There are never alternate facts, just fact facts, not always available when expressing an on line opinion.

FYI : One in five newspapers published 10 years ago is gone. There are 50,000 less news reporters to fact-fill those fewer pages of often reduced frequency newspapers. Real news does suffer but it can never, ever die... or so will we.

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