Thursday, December 6, 2007

The News Marketplace

A friend of mine recently suggested in response to one of my blog entries that my political views were developed from watching the three major networks. I readily admit to being an avid news consumer, but hardly any of the news that I take in comes from ABC, NBC, or CBS.

My primary source of news is NPR – National Public Radio. The radios in my apartment, car, and office are all tuned to the Phoenix NPR Affiliate, KJZZ. I like public radio because their newscasts cover a wide variety of topics that are given an in-depth analysis by the correspondents. The big three networks spend a very limited time on any news story, and those stories are filtered through the interests and prerogatives of corporate America. National Public Radio gives a much clearer perspective on what is happening in the world around us. And I am a good consumer of Public Radio – I donate.

When I do turn to the television for news, I have a strong preference for the newscasts on BBC America. BBC News is also carried on some National Public Radio Stations. Comparing same day news on BBC America with the news of a major American network is somewhat surreal. BBC will do in-depth journalism on stories with a worldwide impact (droughts, famines, and genocide) while their American cousins focus on crime, politics, and human interest pabulum.

My third choice for news is the Internet. No matter what a person’s preferences are in the news marketplace, the Internet has a site for everyone. I like Google News, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, and the New York Times. And if I want to check out the action back in Missouri where my Dad lives, their newspapers are on-line also. News on the Internet is immediate, and it is easy to track a story from a variety of sources.

While my presidential choice, Barack Obama, may appear to be a bit mainstream to my friend, I didn’t arrive at that selection through listening to the corporate bullhorns of ABC, NBC, and CBS. The big boys in the corporate newsrooms don’t have the captive audiences that they once had. America is moving toward being able to truly choose among candidates, because we can now truly choose how we learn about them. The news monopoly is quickly going the way of the dinosaur and eight-track tapes.

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