Published on June 8th, 2011 | by Leonard Jackson0
Better Late Than Never
Two weeks ago we decided that we deserved a vacation; not just a long weekend like we usually take, but a real go-to-the-beach, get sunburned, eat way too much and sleep late into the morning time off. Careful planning was done so that we had covered all bases while we were away and wouldn’t miss a beat in our regular daily schedule. The blog was not going on vacation; it would continue with its once a week comments from me and some additional contributions that were planned especially for the occasion.
Time for departure arrived and I sent a message to webmaster, Martha Hoffman, accompanying the first week’s offering and was on my way. I would send the second post on the road using my smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection later. Unfortunately, about one hundred miles down the road I received an email from Martha reporting that she received the note but “Where was the attached post?” she asked. Realizing my dilemma, I decided to just give it up and take a real vacation and start all over again when I got home. I’m still severely challenged in the electronic communication world, but every mistake is a lesson learned. Some day it’ll be better, some day.
Like the report of Mark Twain’s death, the demise of the daily newspaper might be an exaggeration. There may be a chance for “The Old Gray Lady” and all her loyal subjects throughout the world to find a way to perform a valuable public service and once again become anxiously awaited each morning, not only by old folks like my wife and me, (we can’t break the habit- we’ll be subscribing when there’s only two pages, front and back), but hundreds of new customers as they become aware of this revolutionary idea.
First we have to realize that, like most everything else in today’s twittering new world, we have to learn how to receive and digest news that is given to us through the electronic media.
What we see or hear today, usually for an hour and a half, are quick approximations of what happened. Might be correct, might not, but most importantly “we brought it to you first.” And even more important is the appropriate back drop that must accompany the report. Standing in the rain for the flood or hurricane, next to the fire truck in front of the burning building, in the middle of the road for the car wreck and of course, always on April 15th the obligatory stance at the post office for the story about last minute tax payers.
Since this evening news became entertainment, competing for viewers with game shows and sitcoms, our televisions and radios are now alarm systems keeping us alert to the constant threat of impending wars, horrible weather disturbances and human tragedies too numerous to mention. But each one is definitely a crisis and, most amazingly, can be squeezed in between the numerous commercials. And if nothing is happening in our region, our ever-vigilant news people will go to any extremes to find some suitable horror in another part of the country that will be explored in more detail “at ten”. This is known in the business as the “tease” and is used so repetitiously that you finally lose interest and don’t really care whether you see or hear it at all.
So here is the plan for the print media. While this story has been hashed and rehashed all afternoon and into the night and with every new “late flash” more information has been given and more has been corrected, we all go to bed still not knowing exactly what has really happened and why. This presents the opportunity. All night, until print time, the story could be researched and written in depth as objectively as possible by real reporters (not from the editorial page staff and not off the AP wire). It could be presented in the morning edition for my wife and me and all the other folks that still remember when a story in the morning paper was informative. It was reliably accurate due to thorough research, objective and unbiased, and gave us the events without editorial comments or slants. What an interesting approach. Maybe it should be tried – it couldn’t hurt.