November 10, 2007

Late in "Breaking the News"

Just what is the role of the Fourth Estate in the everyday lives of the people and whatever happened to “who, what, when, where and how” reporting?

Appearing on the “Breaking News Page” of the website and calling it “real time” news at 12:02 AM, Friday, November 9, and in the middle of the night, the Star Ledger announced that an investigation had been launched by state officials into the business and personal dealings of Charlotte DeFilippo the Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee and Director of the Union County Improvement Authority. The news article went on to explain that DeFilippo had been served with subpoenas in September and October so one could say that actually the Star Ledger was “late in breaking the news”, and shame on them.

Even in these times of high tech gadgets and gizmos many people get the news of their communities from the local newspapers, both dailies and weeklies. We want to know that those local papers will deliver the news in an up to date easy to read format, bringing us the facts relating to our local government, schools, sports, births, deaths and local business in a timely manner.

Yesterday’s news is basically useless as we live our lives in “real time” and need our news to be the same. We want to hear it all and prefer to decide for ourselves what information we will keep in our mental files for later use because it is important to us and what information we will discard. News in real time is what happened yesterday, today or what we can expect tomorrow, not what happed last week or last month because what are we going to do with old news, how will it benefit us now or in the near future.

The Star Ledger’s recent performance has been disappointing to say the very least. To claim that they choose to not report the details of the Union County subpoenas and their contents so that they would not be viewed as interfering with the recent elections is absurd. Should not the residents be informed of the unbiased facts of what is going on with their government and those running it in, shall we say “real time”? If the reporting of those unbiased facts coincides with some public event such as an election than so be it, and can holding back on news information be it good or bad also be viewed as interfering, why not just let it rip? Unless of course there are some forces that are actually running the presses and the newspaper is not, now, isn’t that sad?

Many would have to agree that what we really want from the news media is just the N-E-W-S!

Please just....tell me the facts,
give them to me in an expeditious & timely manner
and let me decide for myself what I will ignore and what carries some weight in my decision making.

To the Star Ledger: You are not my mother so don’t try to protect me from what you perceive to be evil or detrimental for me to know. And kindly refrain from attempting to cast the news in a good or bad light, which just annoys me because if I wanted an opinion I would have visited the editorial page.

Further in the case of government ... the last I checked it was by and for the people, not, by the news media shaped in their image for the people, this is manipulation of the facts, and inexcusable. Perhaps the Star Ledger should include the names of those who apparently are influencing their reporting on the mast head as they appear to be the ones steering the Ledger’s ship.