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    The New Yorker | Charles Bethea | 1/27/20 | 38 min
    6 reads9 comments
    9.5
    The New Yorker
    6 reads
    9.5
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    • Alexa
      ScoutScribe
      2 weeks ago

      This one is SO good, and a very important read. 2019 was a rough year for journalism, not just local papers folded but tons of major news hubs too.

      “It’s harder for public officials to ignore things when they’re in the news.”

      I'm really curious what the future holds for news, and what it will take for more journalists to remember how powerful they are and that it's not just about clicks....it's about holding officials & business accountable.

      You like to think they’re good people, especially in a community as small as Jones County, where everybody knows everybody. But if you don’t have media that’s going to hold them accountable for their actions—or, heck, even just report what they’re doing—how are the citizens going to know? They don’t know.”

      What it reminds me of is that reality tv came out of a writers strike in LA. This is far deeper than a writer strike, but when there is no one to put real content & news in the world...what fills the gap? Something will.

      When the writers are no longer available or squeezed out via algorithms and click bait tactics we get the reality tv of news, and that makes me...a little nervous.

      • SEnkey
        ScoutScribe
        2 weeks ago

        This is such a scary/great insight. I never thought of it that way but I really dislike reality tv, and now I'm getting why I don't watch the news anymore either.

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      2 weeks ago

      Oh my god. If 2019 was all about true crime thrillers with dystopian vibes, 2020 is all about true dystopian thrillers with crime vibes. The world is absurd!

      The news information is very scarce now. It’s not like it used to be. I don’t know what happened.

      “Most people don’t want to be confused with the facts.”

      “Do you believe everything you read?” he asked. “What’s the truth? Who wrote it? Where’d they get their information from? It’d be better if I knew the person.”

      Simpson told me that she was skeptical of a lot of what she sees now. “Not everything that’s printed is true,” she said, and TV wasn’t much use, either. “You’ve got people who sit down and suck the whole mess up and never dig into what is true. They just swallow it.”

      My favorite sentence is “Let’s don’t pick on the town hall.” That's pure gold because it's exactly what the reader is thinking at that exact moment too. And it’s a great layup into the next paragraph, which positively blooms.

      My (personal) hot take: For almost a year, I’ve been driving all over the country, in my truck, living in these “news deserts” for days or weeks at a time, getting to know people. I think, for the most part, that the author and I came to the same conclusion: news is dead, but it always has been, and the people are hip to that, even if the media isn’t. Also, despite dire circumstances (accelerated by climate change) there is hope; change is on the horizon.

      OK. Now let's get this thing to AOTD! 📈

      • SEnkey
        ScoutScribe
        2 weeks ago

        Not to out myself too much but I know some of these people in this article. I used to get breakfast at the Pollocksville Deli every morning going from my night job to my day job (before it closed). There is so much that is true - but maybe misleading. I love Jones County, but there are reasons why people leave.

        I grew up reading the Sun Journal and I think having local media is super important. My personal opinion is that most of what is wrong with our politics is that we are all hotly engaged in the national issues that we actually have very little influence over while ignoring the local issues that we have so much more influence over - but a big reason that happens is because it is easy to follow the national news and hard to keep up with the local - if you can at all. Jones County is the perfect example. But Craven County next door, with the Sun Journal, isn't doing much better in that department. Especially with explaining why things are the way they are.

        I love Eastern North Carolina, warts and all. I can't help thinking part of why this happens is because the people you need to run outlets like local media -and support/consume them, are also the people most likely to move away in search of better jobs and lifestyles. I hope that doesn't sound too elitist. I honestly always feel a little guilty for not going back home, but I don't know what I would do if I was there.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          2 weeks ago

          I honestly always feel a little guilty for not going back home, but I don't know what I would do if I was there.

          Not elitist at all. Extremely rational, actually. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that hundreds of millions of people, all around the world, share these feelings. And we all have our own versions of the Pollocksville Deli - which sounds delightful! :)

          I really love this comment. Thanks so much, yet again, SEnkey, for sharing!

      • Alexa
        ScoutScribe
        2 weeks ago

        The world is absurd indeed! That is my most common comment these days, yikes!

        I think, for the most part, that the author and I came to the same conclusion: news is dead, but it always has been, and the people are hip to that, even if the media isn’t.

        I think this point is pretty savvy, and I agree. I am really curious what will bubble up out of the slow death of news, some disruptive solution maybe? Who knows.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          2 weeks ago

          I am really curious what will bubble up out of the slow death of news, some disruptive solution maybe? Who knows.

          I absolutely love that question. I don't claim to have an answer, but I think it's going to be less "disruptive solution" and more "human enlightenment."

          • Alexa
            ScoutScribe
            2 weeks ago

            TRUE. It makes me think of the impeachment.fyi newsletter that just sent out its last update. People donated to support the project throughout it, a real testament to our desire for good reporting & solid news. Defo agree, more human, less disrupt, but still...disrupt the industry by offering human centered solutions instead of clickbait? idk really

    • SEnkey
      ScoutScribe
      2 weeks ago

      Well worth the read, even if you aren't from Eastern North Carolina. Local news matters.