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Monday, October 8, 2012

How do you like your news – left, right or center?

“If you tailor your news viewing so that you only get one point of view, well of course you're going to think somebody else has got a different point of view, and it may be wrong." ~ PeterJennings ~

I don’t know about you, but for me, (as an observer, reader and news junkie) this year’s election cycle has been the most verbally vitriolic and contentious in memory. Granted, the stakes have never been greater for our national economy and security.

Most folks have a favorite source for their news coverage, be it traditional print, radio, television or the Internet. Oftentimes however, one source may provide more opinion than actual fact-checked journalism, which is a reflection of the primary model for today’s’ world of news.

On any given morning, I go surfing around the Internet, gathering headlines that appear sensationalized in some manner or SEO (search engine optimization) driven, and am generally able to ascertain quite readily whether the source is opinion or fact-driven, as well as what news takes priority on the world or local stage. For me, this provides a much-needed focus in determining real issues that are based in facts.

An excellent source for gathering traditional front-page print perspectives is Newseum, the interactive news museum based in Washington, DC whose mission is "to help the public and the news media understand one another better" and to "raise public awareness of the important role of a free press in a democratic society".

Newseum features over 800 newspaper front pages from around the globe and stories that are relevant to demographic, regional and local readership.

The only problem as I see it, with reading daily global headlines, is that one gets weary and sometimes depressed with stories that are manufactured to drive media page views for the sake of creating profit. When a news organization mixes blazing headlines with carefully worded opinions and edited sound bites, you have a recipe for conflict without resolution.

With all of that clearly in mind, below are some alternative news sites with stories that are rarely told because they don’t generate top dollars in advertising.  Yet, for several years, these websites have remained relevant, instant and viable in their news-gathering mission, and they bring positive stories, which uplift and show that we all share a common ground in understanding.

The following Internet sites are in no particular order of preference, but all have a unique approach to finding that common ground when it comes to informing the public.

The Good News Network from Pakistan says, For a Change, let’s talk about The Good News.”

Optimist World brings you positive news which shows the very best of the human spirit and helps to show that good news can help to counteract the bad by reminding us what an amazing world we live in.”

OdeWire “searches a network of 102 media outlets” and ”is always looking at the most authoritative news sources for stories that focus on solutions rather than problems, and on positive changes rather than negative ones.”

Good News Network, founded by former television producer Geri Weis-Corbley, offers a free subscription newsletter as well as paid content models, and provides a "Daily Dose of News to Enthuse."

Gimundo is a free daily newsletter that provides positive “news from around the world, exclusive interviews with change-makers, guest columns, and subscriber-only weekly giveaways and special offers.”

Happy News states that they deliver virtue, goodwill and heroism as 'hot news.'”  Bringing you “up-to-the-minute news, geared to lift spirits and inspire lives.”

Positive News from the United Kingdom is a paid membership and “Members receive the print edition 4 times a year, which brings together our most inspiring news all in one place. In an age of information overload, it’s the best way to get an overview of positive developments in the world...”

If these resources are not enough to peak your interest, I have one more suggestion – a video of -The Rumble 2012, which features the unlikely pairing of right and left media commentators Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart in debate. The program was originally live-streamed for $4.95 on Saturday evening, October 6, 2012 with one-half of the net profits from the show to benefit charitable causes designated by Jon and Bill.Topics that were covered are timely and  presented with colorful language and comedic delivery. There are no politicians and no winners, just difficult discourse that brought two disparate sides together. IMHO there’s a good lesson to be learned by watching it, plus you'll be contributing to some excellent causes.


BarryGillogly said...

Well said!

Paula Slade said...

Barry - Thank you! :)

Arlee Bird said...

I missed this post, then again I've been missing a lot of posts and other things of late.

I would like more objectivity and factual reportage, but it's hard to come by. I tend to just soak up a variety of information from many different types of sources and then just form my own opinions based on what I've heard and what I already know. It's really difficult to know what to believe any more.

Good, positive, and optimistic news sounds like a nice change.

Tossing It Out

Paula Slade said...

Lee - I'm with you - I wish more reporting was factual and objective!

Good news is good for everyone. :)

Glad you were able to stop by.