Musings Work Life

Can You Stop With the Media Bashing Already?

Why do you think you know what’s happening in your communities most of the time? The media tells you.

If your local or national media isn’t covering something you wish they would, there’s a very simple fix for that – tell them. Reporters aren’t psychic, nor are editors or producers. You have to tell them.

Stop saying phrases like “mainstream media” corporate media or other bullshit like that.

Do you use Facebook or Twitter? Do you eat at McDonald’s? Do you shop at mainstream grocery stores? Do you have an iPhone? Then stop.

I was a working reporter for almost a decade, and have many friends who are members of the media. They’re good people, folks. They don’t have some hidden political agenda aimed at hiding the truth from you or hiding what’s really happening.

In fact, do you even know how reporters get their stories? Tips from the public, much of the time.

If you’re not participating, then how can they cover your news? Have you ever talked to a reporter or given them a legitimate news tip about what’s going on in your community? Try it.

The culture of hating the “mainstream media” in this country has got to stop. Modern day journalism is not yellow journalism. For the most part, it’s a regular person covering a specific topic they’re assigned to cover on a regular basis so they have some familiarity with the major and minor players and can begin to spot trends the more they cover the topic. The public is encouraged to participate through letters to the editor, social media, and good ol’ fashioned phone calls.

Have you participated?

Participating in the news – giving good solid tips, communicating to reporters and editors what’s important to you in your community – is imperative for news coverage to work and be of service to the community. Do you know who your local reporters are? If you don’t, and you’ve ever criticized the media, then shame on you.

It’s easy to share a meme, click like on a post or even spout off about things when we’re unhappy or following herd mentality. But to do something, actually do something, that takes courage and time. Are you willing to give both?

I know a lot of local and national journalists who are. I know many of my friends who were out covering the protests in Las Vegas and Reno last night, putting themselves out there to see what’s happening to report back to you. So, if you’re enjoying the coverage, thank a journalist. If you’re not, and you think they’re missing the point, tell them. Speak your mind and let them know how to do better.

In fact, speak up here. How can I do better? I know this is my online magazine, but here’s the crazy part – I’m writing it for you. I think about what may be of interest to my readers each time I publish and each time my fingers hit the keyboard. Speak up. Want to contribute? Send a note – to me, your local media, anyone. Just don’t share a disparaging post about the media or worse, attack the media, if you’ve never participated or interacted with them.

How will they know about something if you don’t tell them?

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