Power is in our hands

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

“Power to the peo­ple,” the oft-heard phrase from the ’60s, is more rel­e­vant to­day than ever be­fore. Just imag­ine the re­ac­tion of the ad­ver­tis­ers in broad­cast and print me­dia if the power of the en­tire Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion flipped the switch, di­aled them out, pulled the plug, can­celed the ac­count, stopped play­ing child­ish games with iPhones, An­droids and Black­ber­ries. Wow, what a pow­er­ful mes­sage that would send to the me­dia folks.

It is en­tirely proper to dis­agree in a civ­i­lized man­ner, but when any­one gets into the gut­ter, di­a­logue can­not be any­thing but ugly. So, my fel­low ci­ti­zens on both sides of the po­lit­i­cal and philo­soph­i­cal di­vide, cut the cord and bring them to heel. A few years back it was called “vote with your feet.” To­day it is all done with a sin­gle fin­ger stroke. You will see an al­most im­me­di­ate change in their be­hav­ior. Af­ter all, that is what is grossly needed. A change in per­sonal be­hav­ior.

For those who at­tended a jour­nal­ism school, do you re­call the con­cept of check­ing your sources, vet­ting the source, en­sur­ing your copy was ac­tu­ally ac­cu­rate? The ir­re­spon­si­ble me­dia types to­day do nei­ther. Thus the ad­vent of “fake news.” Let’s work to­gether and right the ship. We can dis­agree in a civil man­ner with­out all the hate and ran­cor.

Don’t worry, me­dia peo­ple, the Pulitzer is still at­tain­able with­out the anony­mous sources or an un­named high-rank­ing White House of­fi­cial. Wake up. Dig deep and do the right thing. Flip the switch, turn them off. The net re­sult will be that, when the ad­ver­tis­ers find out the Amer­i­can peo­ple are not watch­ing or lis­ten­ing any­more, they will ap­ply all of the nec­es­sary pres­sure to bring the me­dia back into line.

Happy In­de­pen­dence Day! Not the same as Happy Fourth. But much bet­ter. LOUIS R. BUR­NETT Lit­tle Rock

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