Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dumbing Down the Newspaper

This morning I woke up with a brain-squeezing headache so this will be brief. I did manage to drag myself to the kitchen table thinking a good cup of coffee might help make the pain go away so I sat with my cup and the morning newspaper. Normally I only breeze through the paper since, like most people these days, I seem to rely on the Internet and cable TV to stay informed. Today, as always, I was skimming the first section of the paper when my eyes fell upon the Op-Ed page. And what do I see…an editorial on Sanjaya and “American Idol.” Excuse me…this is supposed to be a highly regarded major metropolitan newspaper. Why in the world is the editorial staff focused on the fortunes of some young, marginally talented pop star wannabe? Aren’t there more serious events and actions taking place in the world that deserve to be discussed? Is it time to cancel my newspaper subscription? I’m beginning to think so...

19 comments:

Patti said...

I agree newspapers have been greatly dumbed down. That's why I am considering a career change.

Pam said...

Ah yes... the Sanjaya Factor... I'm with you: Who Cares?? We watch American Idol so it's not like I'm being anti-Idol or something. It's just irksome when pop culture replaces real news issues.

I enjoyed catching up on your blog - it's been a while!

Lynn said...

I think that Sanjaya (or his "handlers") is/are brillant! Look at how much people are talking about him. At least he is in the Op-Ed page and not the front page. Besides, if you get the same major metropolitan newspaper that I get... I would never use the words "highly regarded" to describe it. Sorry about your headache...does that mean I can't call you?

Joan said...

Patti: It seems like American newspapers are being driven by one thing and one thing only...the mighty dollar. How sad is that?

Pam: I'm not anti-American Idol either. I have no problem with newspapers covering American Idol in their Entertainment sections. That's what it is...entertainment NOT news!

Lynn: If the newspaper we both read is not "highly regarded," then why the heck are we subscribing to it? Oh wait, I know...we'd be lost without the comics. :~D

Toni said...

I don't think I've read a paper in years! That's pretty sad when you think about it...

Lynn said...

No, we'd be lost without the Sunday ads!

Joan said...

Toni: In this era of the Internet, cable news and lives overwhelmed with things to do, I think reading the newspaper has become a luxury not too many people can afford to spend time on.

Lynn: Okay...I admit it...for me too, it's the Sunday ads...and the coupons.

PEA said...

Hi Joan...thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment:-) I so enjoy "meeting" new people!! I don't watch American Idol but know who that guy is because he seems to be all over the papers...I guess it's the hair? lol xox

Renee said...

We had to stop getting the paper...and the sad part is that we get a local paper that no one here reads. It's good for protecting surfaces and stuff though...oh and paper mache. LOL

Joan said...

Pea: Thanks for stopping by. I agree with you...it must be the hair. From what I understand, it certainly isn't the talent!

Renee: I'm beginning to think our newspaper is good for only one thing...washing windows. When I was young, I learned that newspaper with Windex is a great way to clean windows.

Dana said...

This past week, I have done a self induced "boycott" of the press. I have gotten so disgusted with Brittany, Paris, AI, and everything else the press feels is important. My favorite local news station website has even gone so far as having a "celbrity look alike contest". I have really enjoyed not getting sucked into it all and may continue for another week.

Midlife Mom said...

ECK! Not more Sanjaya hype! I would cancel the newspaper if they think he is news. I like AI but he has almost ruined it for me and a lot of others who actually like to see talented young people singing in a competition not a trumped up Howard St*rn and Vote For The Worst AI Singer mess.

Susie said...

Sanjaya certainly is using all this publicity for all it's worth! The way he looks into the camera, you know he's playing to the teeny bobber crowd.
We're probably in the minority, but my husband reads (really reads) 3 papers each day. I read parts of each of them. I prefer to get my news from several different sources,
but I mainly rely on the internet and CNN.

Joan said...

Dana: Thanks for stopping by. I agree that even the broadcast news programs have gone soft. Our favorite local newscaster has gone from being a serious established older anchorman to yucking it up with his younger female co-anchor. Bring me back the NEWS!

Midlife mom: From what I hear, it doesn't look good for AI in terms of surviving this mess. I'm sure when they chose Sanjaya as a competitor, they never thought it would come to this.

Susie: I grew up reading the NY Times from the time I was in elementary school so watching the decay of journalism is heartbreaking. I used to look forward to reading the newspaper every morning but now it's almost useless.

patches said...

I agree completely about the decline of news. Our local paper has an extension to the OpEd, called Rant & Rave. Anonymous calls and emails are printed daily praising or trashing things community related. It's nothing more than an uneducated free-for-all. I've concluded that local news doesn't qualify as news I need to know.

kenju said...

Joan, thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice comments.
I think that most newspapers these days think they MUST compete with TV and other media. It is a sad commentary that they believe the American public wants that kind of pap. I read our paper only for the comics and the obits and the local business news. That's about all it is good for nowadays.

Joan said...

Patches: Are the Rants & Raves edited or are they run as is? That could get pretty scary...and creepy.

Kenju: I agree that the comics and obits are just about the only worthwhile things in the paper anymore...except for the Sunday ads and coupons which I cannot live without.

patches said...

The rant and raves run as is, bad grammar and all. They do avoid George Carlin's seven words. I would like to know how many submissions they get a day. They only run one column width.

Linda said...

This is right up there with the media's obsession with the whole Anna Nicole Smith debacle. I am so sick to death of hearing about that woman and the custody of her child and everything else the media seems to think is news. They really need to get over it. The woman was not a celebrity when she was alive and they need to just let her rest in peace.

I feel so bad for her poor child who is probably never going to have a normal life. Never.

As for Sanjaya, the only news I want to hear about him is that he finally got voted off the island!