This is an adjunct blog to today's earlier blog (USCNN).
Our news networks have been sucking, long and hard for some time now. Worst offender in the realm of Journalism? Fox News. Others? MSNBC. Worst News Network overall? Probably, CNN. Which is so sad considering what they initially achieved in their birth and creation of the twenty-four hour news cycle.
Sadder still, currently one of the best journalistic networks in the classical sense, is a foreign held news network (based in Qatar), Al Jezeera. What does that say about our home grown, bloated, biased news networks?
Some of the issues?
Instant media. The need to fill a twenty-four hour news cycle, even when there is nothing really going on in that period. Also, the belief by networks that people are only attracted to certain types of news, and the whore-mongering race to present those news pieces, regardless of what America needs to be hearing about. Advertisers. Advertisers who might pull their support if the wrong news is presented. Also, an overwhelming deluge by some networks of their corporate opinion. OpEds, over editorializing. Companies pushing agendas to make a buck at all costs with considerations of journalism taking a back seat, especially with politically partisan ones.
We need useful news.
We need a news network that isn't beholding to anyone. Who can do pure journalism. We need news that gives us what we need and not what they want, what their owners want, what a political party wants, what religious organizations want, what extremist conservatives or, liberals want.
We the American people are being held hostage by these groups, and it needs to stop. We need to start using our minds, to be intelligent, and to be a knowledgeable, even if in many cases not an educated citizenry. We need to be educated, even if only by our news networks.
This new network could be one where, between "hard news" segments, they could have alternative shows like the Jon Stewarts and The Daily Show type shows. Humor is a great way to get people to absorb news that is hard to hear, or accept. Stewart is an obvious liberal in his orientation. Perhaps a humorous liberal show followed up by a conservative show; but I'd suggest going another way.
Still, these types of shows show us the foibles in our ways, much in the way that the original Star Trek TV show, exhibited to us through science fiction, through aliens ("Those stupid aliens, who are nothing like us!"). They showed us things we needed to look at but couldn't, unless we saw it through the filter of it being others, outside of who we are.
We still need to see this kind of news, to deal with it, to ruminate on it with enough information so as to make useful, informed decisions. And we can't currently do that with the type of news we are receiving. The American people need news. Real news. News presented in a way that is useful. And news that we need to hear and not just want to hear.
In short, we need a news network that is giving us what we need to hear, and yes what we find interesting, but most of all not just editorialized and opinionated but real information with possible solutions; or at least a path to finding those solutions; ways to think about how to achieve solutions. Those are the key elements.
We need to know what to do about some of these intense issues so that when we talk to others about them, debate them, even argue about them, we have some meat, some fuel to use in order to achieve some kind of consensus.
We need news media that helps us to find the right answers and not just the answers for us, or for our group, our preferred political system. We need to put down the crazies, the extremists, the right wing fools, the left wing absurdities.
We need a news Network with programs that reports the news, even news we don't care about, until it is reported properly, and that offers the best case for fixing those issues; solutions as supported by the educated, the knowledgeable, even the public; and then updated over time in revisiting that news as better solutions and information make themselves known. Canvassing discussion groups, listening to the public, combing available information and actual journalistic endeavors.
The American people need to be informed. We need to be informed properly so that we support what our government does, so that they do what is needed, so that the American voice to our government not only supports what is done, or to be done, but can even offer solutions upward to our head of State and not only and always, downward from our head of State. It would need checks and balances but that can be figured out.
We need a new kind of news: a New News Network, a new kind of, "Triple N" that covers our nation's needs. Remember what John F Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
Many people take that to mean, leave your homes, go out and volunteer, join the military, enter public service. But no, not only. It can be as simple as knowing what is happening all around you. Knowing the correct information, having an informed decision, speaking out what is true and necessary and others having if not the same understanding, at least an educated, intelligent understanding of the issues. Because in that, we can have productive debates. And in a productive debate, you can arrive at what is the best answer.
You have to have accurate information for a good debate and you have to have information on the things most important at that time in the world, as well as future considerations and their possible repercussions.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I just wrote a blog on this today titled, USCNN, that talks about this kind of thing, in part.
We need this new network to serve up to us the major and important news pieces. We need them to offer up to us perhaps the top three best solutions to the situation as it stands using (and over the next days and weeks), using all available resources, government, foreign governments, Vox Populi (the Voice of the People) via the internet and other news networks, using everything to continue to offer us the best solutions, possible solutions and not just that network's opinions, biases and hidden agendas.
Much as in the ancient Roman belief that a nation state should be run by the people, it takes an educated citizenry to properly support that best case type of a Republic.
In theory, we are a great nation.
To truly be a great nation and to continue being one will require us to pay more attention to what is going on; but first, we need to be sure that we are being supported in order for us to support our people, our government and thus, our position in the world and their perception of just what and who we really are.
"We should be finding ways to get more voters to the polls, not looking for excuses to keep them away. So instead of prohibiting felons from voting, let's require them to do it. That way, they will continue to repay their debt to society, long after they walk out of prison."So, what do I really think? What could we do to fix these things?
Everyone should be allowed to vote, if they have at least at a minimum level of understanding, restricted not for who they are but what they can understand; going to jail shouldn't take away your right to vote; nor should being poor, or uneducated; everyone should be REQUIRED to vote who is allowed to vote.
Finally, it should be painlessly easy for all voters to vote.
People need to understand what the hell it means to vote. They need to understand what it means each time in casting that vote. It needs to be made clear to them, what they are voting for, not obfuscating what they are voting for. This trick of trying to confuse voting, so that vote one way is really voting against your wishes, needs to be made illegal. They should, if they have the ability to understand what they are doing, be required to vote, if they are to be an American citizen.
We need as many people as possible, voting. We need to make it cool, a mandatory thing, so that our country is governed by those who know what they are asking for, and will get what they vote for. We need those who vote, to understand what they are voting for. We need to make voting as easy as possible so they don't find it a burden to vote.
We don't need people voting who have no clue what they are doing, either because they are incapable, have no perceived, vested interest, or no resources to make clear to them what they are voting on. Sound expensive? Sound difficult? Isn't what we are seeing today difficult, and costing us massive amounts of money because of big money taking and not giving back; because of our political leaders entrenched in money problems to maintain their positions, in the back pocket of big money; because of the little guys being stepped on, feeling disenfranchised, jailed within their own lifestyles, while others globetrot on the heads of the bulk of what and who America is?
Is it the American way to run away from a challenge? A conflict? A danger? How about when the conflict is internal, danger is at home, is our own people, our own ignorant masses? What about reasonableness, rationality, honesty, fairness, honor, clarity, education and intelligence? We need to adjust our priorities and be sure that the most sane, most comprehending, are the ones making the decisions and pushing forward our best foot for the most people and not just the privileged few who hedge their bets on the pain of the People.
We need our most educated but not if they only push agendas only for them. We need our least educated but not if they have no clue what they are doing and are acting against their own best interests, much like the poor who vote the rich elite's agendas. We can fix this.
How about we fix this?