Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wiederaenders: "Terrorists win with atmosphere of fear"

Tim's got the right end of the stick today, but he fails to wield it with authority.

Yes, the public is unreasonably afraid of terrorism, and everyone needs to calm down. But Tim's analysis of why this is happening is a little soft, perhaps because his own industry carries so much of the responsibility, and the organization he helps manage is quite happy to sell newsprint on fear and facilitate official fear-mongers. So another opportunity for self-examination and positive change is wasted. If the Courier editors really see the problem here, they are in better position that most anyone in town to do something about it.

Parting shot, Tim: "UFO" is not a synonym for "alien spacecraft." If something is flying and the authorities don't know what it is, it's a UFO, that's the correct term. So the TV newscritters didn't report the "possibility of a UFO," they reported a UFO sighting. Failing to clarify this for your readers reinforces ignorance among those who don't know and undercuts your credibility among those who do.


Anonymous said...

You make no sense with this. If Tim were to be part of the problem working at the newspaper and "affect change" you are suggesting, then either you are advocating he quit or put the newspaper out of business. Otherwise he took the issue out of the news pages as it did not run there that I can find and put it on page 4 for an object lesson with explanation and what he sees, a bigger picture. Small-town newspapers are not always to blame like the bigger, liberal-left media are. -Wayne

Steven Ayres said...

=> either you are advocating
=> he quit or put the
=> newspaper out of business

Not at all. It's not hard to look at your own coverage and editorial choices critically and eliminate fear-mongering in favor of fact. A small-town monopoly paper has greater freedom to do this than a large-market competitor stuck in a race to the sensational bottom. In fact it has the constitutional responsibility to take the high road and put good, factual voter information first.

Over these past few months I've been specifically pointing out how the Courier editors make choices that disinform and agitate readers, and how they can stop doing it. This is not to say that they are "always to blame," as I've shown in giving kudos where due.

Your idea that any big media organization is "liberal-left" in this country shows how far to the right you think the center has moved, I'm afraid.