Truth in Labeling
News, Opinion, or Persuasion
Computer Access for the Many:
A Necessity in a Democracy
First update, 2009: In the job description for reporters, the news industry at White House Press Correspondents' Dinner heard the admonition from the White House to "inform the people, pursue the truth." See http://newstalkradiowhio.com/blogs/jamie_dupree/2009/05/obamas-press-dinner-remarks.html.
Second update, 2013: In 2013, the idea of wire the nation takes on new focus, see op-ed of Thomas Friedman, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/opinion/friedman-obamas-1-2-punch.html?_r=0
How to implement the mandates for journalists to inform the people, pursue the truth. Centralization of media ownership is not the answer. That merely blocks alternative viewpoints. At least wire the nation.
Can we try these:
1. Sources and labeling. Inform the people. Truth in labeling. Who owns your legislator. Who pays for his re-election campaigns, perks. Transparency. Who is that person, really. Follow the money.
Government sponsors, and disseminates, a basic objective complete news reporting service for all the facts. A clearly labeled outlet. Optional. Individual papers and reporters then may investigate further, spin and opine about as they wish, but in delineated sections of the news paper or media reporting. Propaganda can then be spotted, if we are lucky. And focused.
2. Net neutrality and national or universal broadband. Push back at monopolization.
How else to counter the push of some to monopolize the media with one viewpoint.
Wire the country. People isolated are weaker. We strong voters, with independently validated information available all the time.
3. Access. Everyone. Computer dissemination, like those bikes. A computer for every household, for basic word processing and internet. Repairs and exchanges for free in neighborhood storefront easy-drop in geek spots employing anybody who can learn the skills. All yellow, in substance that cannot be altered (attempts to spray paint will blister, for example. Use anywhere in the United States.
4. The idea here is that neutral and complete information is absolutely necessary to a functioning democracy, and that computers have become the only way to approximate it and offer a comparison to what the local paper (owned by the national glom and tilting accordingly) offers so sneakily. FN 1 for rant.
FN 1 Rant.
- Newspapers. Sam Zell and his minions could not save the Tribune Co., and that includes the Hartford Courant here and others. So, in bankruptcy, he joins forces with Fox, sharing building space, executives do both sides. We opted out. Now we are at the NYT but grieve for our old newspaper's now-tainted brand.
- Fox News - on the air but with what. It fires its remaining liberal balance person, who used to a little bit offset the bombast extremism of Rush Limbaugh on WTIC, see http://www.mondotimes.com/1/world/us/7/446/1266/
- Privately owned Radio Stations. Often Owned by the Same Media Private Shareholders. A sore thumb. They also are firing columnists not in sync with the shareholder interest, as though there is no public interest in full information as implicit in the privilege - right- of voting.
- Libraries. Spooks in disguise? Have to put your name and card number manually in the computer hard drive before you can access a public computer at a library? Avoid Farmington. See Sassafras Tree, Library Exposure Week, Privacy.
- Only computers fill in truncated quotations. Find the full statement behind the truncated one offered on the news. Example: Joe Biden, saying Obama will be tested, as was John Kennedy. Omitted, however, in the media hype, is the conclusion - that Obama will prevail as did Kennedy because he has a spine of steel.
Common media ownership. Are the woods safe any more?
Even Biden noted that a President Obama would be tested, as President Kennedy was tested. All presidents are.
But how was it reported: that Obama would be tested because he was inexperienced.
That is misleading and propaganda. How would Citizen Fodder know that?
The full statement was that Obama would be tested and that he would prevail in his testing as did Kennedy because Obama has a spine of steel. See http://www.wsbt.com/news/election/2008/33100574.html. A simple search on News will produce the same thing. Broadband access. For everyone. Bridging differences. Showing where other bridges are. Wire the nation.