Letters to the Editor

Reliable source

February 13, 2008

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To the editor:

Childhood was a time for trust in my life. I believed everything I heard. I believed in Santa Claus and that fat people were healthier than skinny ones. Any airplane flying overhead was piloted by Lindbergh, and penny candy always came in a small white paper sack. Lowell Thomas was the only newsman in the world, and Amos and Andy were real people. My disillusionment began when the neighbor kids told me there was no Santa Claus. From that time on, I was deluged with talk, signs, claims and reports that were only partly true or were completely false. Skepticism became a lingering disease for me.

As I grew older, the assault of misinformation increased. Buy this, buy that. Grow hair, get rich, become a leader, prevent constipation, take a pill for erectile dysfunction, and have a healthy, happy retirement without arthritic pain. For me, it became a matter of questioning everything. Where was I to find reliable information?

This may seem like a brazen attempt to impress or please, and many of you will firmly disagree with the answer that was so obvious to me. The best way to receive reliable information of the world around us is from our daily local newspaper. Oh, I know that the paper often angers us by seeming to take sides or ignore reports that we think should be publicized. But newsprint is more accurate and thorough than TV soundbites. Sadly, many local newspapers are in trouble for lost ad revenue because of the Internet.

Personally, I hope the balance of my life includes a morning paper at my door.

Art Lamb,
Lawrence

Comments

BrianR 7 years, 2 months ago

"If it's in print, it must be true." That's a lie too, please add it to your list of broken childhood dreams.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately the reading audience will find it necessary to tap into unconventional news sources whether on line or in print to discover what the newspaper monopolies are forgetting.

KS 7 years, 2 months ago

Art - don't bet on that paper being at your door. The information age changed when Al Gore invented the internet. Now you don't even have to put on your house slippers to get the paper. Pretty cool.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_colbert_report/index.jhtml

http://www.thenation.com/

http://antiwar.com/

http://www.corpwatch.org/

http://www.dollarsandsense.org

http://www.democracynow.org/

http://www.commondreams.org/

http://www.inthesetimes.com/

http://www.worldmessenger.20m.com/weapons.html

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/1992/09/bushboys.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PNAC (republican agenda - google PNAC someday for more)

http://www.laborradio.org/

http://costofwar.com/index-public-education.html

http://www.jimhightower.com/

lauraflanders.com@app.topica.comp>lauraflanders.com@app.topica.com>

The best morning news in this area is from 8-10AM at 90.1 FM KKFI. Had to get a good FM antenna from Kiefs for indoor listening at this house. Car radio no problem. Broadband brings in KKFI no sweat on these wonderful electronic information devices.

Art if you are looking for entertainment rather than news Fox is the way to go.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 2 months ago

R_T says, "The overwhelmingly successful Fox New Channel and the manner in which they beat the pants off the other three or four cable giants proves this fact."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I just love how, when FNC is wrong about something they have reported, there is normally no retraction, no correction...just dead air. Legitimate news outlets almost always set the record straight and that is one way you can separate the wheat from the chaff.

posessionannex (Anonymous) says:

"Art if you are looking for entertainment rather than news democracy now is the way to go."

Huh? I know the world's democracies are typically the best places to get a wide variety of entertainment, or the choice of none at all, if one so chooses. And they are typically the best places to get the most reliable news, as well. For those of you who doubt this, go to some of the other countries on this planet and see what "news" is like there.

Alia Ahmed 7 years, 2 months ago

right-thinker, propaganda is a very subjective term, sort of like freedom-fighter versus terrorist. It depends on who is using the word. Propaganda isn't exclusively a socialist tool, right-wingers and Republicans use it too. Fox's slogan, fair and balanced, is a prime example of propaganda in action.

Alia Ahmed 7 years, 2 months ago

madmike,

I agree with you that all news outlets spin. The post before mine implied only socialists use propaganda. It is definitely a noble goal to be "spin-free" but it isn't possible given the lens through which we all view the politics and world in general.

Newell_Post 7 years, 2 months ago

I would have to look for the citations, but a number of studies have been done checking the accuracy of newspaper reporting in detail. The general accuracy rate was usually found to be around 60%. In the current scheme of things, many newspapers are struggling financially as noted above. One of the casualties of this struggle is fact checking. Most major newspapers used to have staffs of people who did nothing but check facts before publishing. That is now almost completely dead.

I like newspapers, too. However, they were always somewhat inaccurate and are probably becoming even less accurate in the current climate. One of the things I really enjoy about this LJW forum is the ability of regular people from all over to correct facts when they are erroneously reported. I think this actually makes the on-line LJW far more accurate than the print version.

Art: enjoy your morning paper, but take it with a grain of salt.

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