I’ve been waking up to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition for a long time. As I drifted into consciousness this morning, I noticed that I was listening to an in-depth piece about how Indianans are suffering under their state’s antique Blue Laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays. By preventing Hoosiers from buying a cold beer, these old laws can ruin a ballplayer’s whole Sunday afternoon, as I was told. Snore. Who cares?
Instead of going back to sleep, I hit the off button and went in search of online independent news sources and some coffee. Whoa, I’m awake! There was a military coup in Egypt, Bolivia’s president had some trouble traveling through EU airspace, our kitchen ceiling is leaking again thanks to the climate-change-induced days of heavy rain in Washington DC—and the out-of-control, unregulated expansion of gas-fracking is poisoning our water supply.
NPR’s fluffy filling surprised me. I hope this isn’t a trend. PBS still airs some great news stories, but even they caved to Koch corporate coercion. It’s become increasingly difficult for me to watch cable TV “news.” I can’t stand the megaphone messaging. But in our era of short attention spans… most people have probably stopped reading this by now. (Click “like” if you’ve read this far.)
I’m just sayin, if you choose bits and bytes of infotainment over news be aware that you still have a choice. And ask yourself, “Was it the image of a convivial crowd drinking and watching a belly dancer or was it the commentary on vacuous mass media manipulation that kept my attention?”
In these time-starved days, I tend to follow the writing of journalists, bloggers and social media mavens more than any particular publications or channels. CommonDreams.org , a nonprofit news aggregator, is a good source of articles from great thinkers, scholars, investigative journalists, and diverse, progressive news sources. Even those with short attention spans can catch the memes of opinion and breaking news by scanning these headlines. Then follow the thread if you want to know more.
There’s a lot going on and so many sources. It takes some effort to fact check and stay informed. Don’t be lulled into slumber! Our world needs your thoughtful, informed attention.