Friday, October 31, 2008

It Has Come Down to This

by G.Parker

In the past two years, we've been bombarded from all sides concerning the election that comes to a final conclusion next Tuesday. It feels as if it's been ten. It's been a frustrating and disappointing campaign for many, especially those of us who have anxiously watched the two sides form and leave much of reasoning and patriotism behind.

Part of this whole thing has been due to writing. Journalism is a large part of our news force, both the newspaper variety and the news station productions. There was a day when being a journalist was a sought after profession for a writer -- the nitty gritty, seeking after the truth, uncovering scams and scandal, bringing criminals to judgment.

Not anymore. Now it seems there are more paparazzi than journalists, and it's more about making money and selling newspapers than reporting news and fact. There are still those who write for the people, but it's harder to find them.

I noticed an article on the internet last week that speculated on the treatment of one candidate over the other. The writer admitted that perhaps there had been some leaning to the negative side, but also proposed the candidate had brought it upon himself -- because he hadn't been open to interviews and public appearances as his opponent. He had conducted his campaign the regular run of the mill way, and his competition had stepped things up. The article stated that many of the reporters didn't like the more positively reported candidate -- he was elusive and distant -- but still they reported on him in a positive light. Why do you think that is?

When it comes down to the nitty gritty, our society operates on the basis of money. Unfortunately, that's the way our economics work. If a business doesn't make money, they go out of business. The same is said for a newspaper or a network. If it's not making money by selling advertising, or selling subscriptions, it's going to fail. If reporting a certain angle, or only one side to a story, or crime or violence sells more copies of the newspaper, advertisers are going to invest more in a selling concern than one that isn't selling.

What do you think influences reporters?

I've said many times how we represent writers that want to be an influence for good. We feel we have a mission in life -- and we want to encourage others to find their way and put words on paper too. Sometimes that expression comes through in a novel, sometimes in a blog, sometimes in a newspaper article. Whether fiction, non-fiction, or fact, it's the written word.

We live in the greatest nation in the world today. We have greater freedoms, rights and material things than many people in the world ever dream of -- and we treat it casually. There are many who are jealous of our lifestyle and wish to take it over for themselves. There are those who would take away many of our freedoms in the pretence of 'protecting and guarding' our society.

The only way these things can be fought without bloodshed, is through the written and verbal word. What's the phrase? The pen is mightier than the sword. I don't know who first said it, but I know it's been quoted numerous times. We can make it happen. We can be the pen that is mighty.

Step up to the paper and make your mark. Make your presence felt in the world. Stand up for the freedoms and privileges we enjoy here in America.


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