Ancient Electronic History
There was a time eons ago when the American family would all gather together and watch the nightly news. The choices included Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and the venerable Walter Cronkite. These nuclear families absorbed the news together and would praise or comment on each news story as it was presented. Children watching with their parents at the dining table usually chose to align themselves with their parents biases. But the day of having only three network choices for the nightly news has gone the way of the dinosaur. Besides the still big three, CNN, Fox, and MSNBC offer more in depth and usually biased reporting. Now any time of the day or night viewers can tune in to listen to the news and having their own personal bias presented to them.
Once Upon a Time in Small Town America
But there are still those who enjoy actually reading the daily news reports from the New York Times and the Washington Post, the two most honored of a diminishing journalistic practice. Subscriptions to hard copy newspapers are on a serious decline but electronic editions help those who want to be completely informed on a daily basis. Along with electronic reporting comes the new aggregation services, like Google, Facebook, and Twitter that provide up to the minute news bites as they happen. In this world of less is more many people especially the young rely on this for their news. This less is more attitude seems to suit the younger generation.
The world is changing and only the young internet savvy youths can keep up with it. But having a pertinent, factual, up-to-date news sources being sent directly to your email is invaluable. Armed with one of the news aggregation services a parent can be as up to date as their teenagers. It has changed our relationship with reality. Unlike the early broadcast TV news, the latest of these news feeds targets the audience and sends only information with that viewer's particular bias. Most people on both ends of the political spectrum seem to want to only reinforce their individual biases and not deal with information conflict. The world is filled with people who can not express their own opinions, but it also contains the intelligent few whose espousal and reasoning makes great sense. To be able to listen to like minded intelligent spokespeople is a joy.
Decades earlier in America our parents enjoyed reading their local daily newspapers and always watched the nightly news with their preferred newscaster. These people of the past also enjoyed reading magazines and books. They were usually well rounded, could carry on a competent conversation, and had a sense of not only their own world but of other people's and other countries. But, sadly, that has now been lost. Fathers may read Sports Illustrated, ESPN or Golf but they do not read a general information magazine like Time and Newsweek dedicated to the cultural and world experience. Our parents probably did not watch a musical on Broadway but they knew more about the arts and music than adults from today's fast paced world.
We can not live in the past and must embrace the everchanging electronic landscape that keeps us informed. To deny it's existence is pure folly. Be engaged try one of the news aggregation services for yourself. There are several to choose from, most are free, only depending on advertising, including Fark and Digg. The world is rapidly changing, be a part of the new information age and stay up to date and able to handle the onslaught of information facing people today.