The importance of newspapers
Greetings from Southern California where I’ve spent an interesting three weeks in good weather (sometimes a little hot!) and the usual Southern Cal traffic. When a news station said the worst traffic in the U.S. is in the Los Angeles area, I wasn’t surprised nor should you be.
Often I say that while it was great to grow up in San Diego, I’m also grateful I no longer live there. Mine were the days when we could get a parking place at the beach at noon. Now you have to be there by 9 a.m. — 8 a.m. preferably!
The Carlsbad area was my first stopping place and the weather was pleasant but not too warm. The beaches weren’t that crowded except on the weekend — and how nice to breathe the salt air — before getting back on clogged roadways!
Yes, it was hot in Palm Desert where I stayed for a week, but I stayed in a place where the pool was right outside the door so could cool off often. A fascinating part of the way people live in that desert is misters. If it becomes too hot while sitting outside on a patio and not in the pool, the homeowner turns on the misters. A cool mist fills the air and suddenly the 100-plus degrees fades until one can sit comfortably and read or talk. Unfortunately, the heat limits the time you can walk anywhere — meaning walking is done early in the morning.
My final week was spent in the place you’ve read about previously — Ventura. Here the weather was totally pleasant — slightly cool in the mornings but still warn enough to wear shorts for a walk. Best walks are at the beach where miles of beach beckon. What I discovered — again — was that nature was still at work. In May I found a stream between a lagoon and the ocean. Now that stream is gone and the lagoon is quite full with birds everywhere. That’s one thing I’ve learned about nature — it is in charge all the time no matter how much humans try to control it.
——— Soon I’ll be back to the reality of our constant news. This 24-hour news spin isn’t the best for anyone because now journalists are constantly searching for the next big item — and let’s face it — we need a rest from all this once in a while, don’t we? I know that some of the big news headlines that burst over my phone leave me wondering who they’re talking about!
My second major was journalism, but that was back in the “good old days” when news really was news — and we even had some good news once in a while. Oh, that good news didn’t always catch attention like sensational news but it was refreshing.
This brings me to the celebration by the Society of Professional Journalists of its 110th Birthday. Their latest publication traced the history of American journalism from 1690 to the present, then examined the future. The Society was totally male until 1969 when 70 women joined and have been a leading force in the Society since.
I wasn’t aware of women’s late arrival when I joined in the 1980s but understand women’s frustrations because of my female explorers of the early 20th century who couldn’t join geographic organizations.
All of us see the quickly changing journalism of today with local newspapers rapidly disappearing to the detriment of local government. While local news broadcasts now either are being tried or are being considered via digital news, right now communities are less informed about their local government — a big concern for our democratic process.
And, honestly, I’m appalled that so many people get all their news via their phone. Editors and special staff have always decided the best news stories for the front page, but remaining news is in the rest of the paper. Hopefully all those pieces were objective in nature. Not quite the case with the news you receive via phone and internet.
One article in the Society publication examined the future of journalism predicting that articles will be written by freelance journalists serving not only newspapers (which may be a thing of the past) but digital news, social media, search engines and news aggregators. (Please understand that newspapers are employing fewer and fewer reporters.)
The final article was by a young college woman who said she gained her information on newsworthy events from an online source or social media, never a newspaper. (And she’s a member of the student section of the Society!)
Enjoy reading this newspaper while you can!