“If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.”
― Mark Twain
Today was the day I finally broke down and bought a newspaper to catch up on recent events. Normally I'm an RSS junkie who downloads news instantly to my Outlook from seven different sources; you've already probably seen Fark.com appear in most of my posts. The presiding bookmarks on my Google Chrome Start Page are of a national and local new websites, each fully loaded as soon as the computer boots in the morning. All gone now. At least until December 1st. You're saying, "Just listen to the radio." Well, why didn't I think of that? The millions of broadcast signals moving invisibly through the air around us! Except I did, and that plan blew up in my face faster than Richie Incognito at an NAACP rally (see, I read the news).
Typical Radio Experience
- Leave home for work (or Leave Work)
- Turn on car/radio
- "We'll be right back with the latest news after a word from our sponsors."
- Next Station: "Okay, Marcus, I have LaQuanda on the line claiming that you blew her off after your date."
- Katy Perry's "Roar" on the next four consecutive stations.
- Country, country, country
- More commercials
- Arrive at work (or Arrive at home)
Talk To A Friend, Collegue, or Random Stranger
Getting news from someone second-hand is like having them spit pre-chewed food into your mouth. Sure, it goes down the same, but initially a balled-up heap of shit sits there to confuse you. Take, for example, a conversation I had with my co-worker last Friday, November 1st —
Co-worker: "Did you hear about the shooting at LAX?"
Don: "No, what happened?"
Co-worker: "Some guy shot some people!"
Don: "Holy shit, did they catch the guy?"
Co-worker: "I don't know."
Don: "Well, is he still on the loose?"
Co-worker: "....Not sure, couldn't tell ya."
Don: "Did anyone die?"
Co-worker: *sucks air through teeth* "You know, I didn't happen to read that."
Don: "Where the hell did you even hear about this?"
What's the Deal Lately?
That's exactly the type of up-to-the-minute, in-your-face haphazard reporting that has recently doomed most major news outlets, yet watchers are glued to their respected devices demanding more. The facts — and theories — in both the Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon bombing events were handled in the same manner in which a child throws a bunch of Sticky Hands against a wall to see which one will stick.
With that being said, there is some comfort thinking that print media may have had enough time to get the facts straight before printing several hundred copies. But maybe not...