Thursday, May 31, 2007

Meet the Press

I have a love/hate relationship with the media. It's really gone downhill and I can't even read anymore because it's so sensationalistic with ridiculous "news" coverage that is mostly about celebrities instead of real issues. Forgot about TV news, especially local news.

Yet, I'm hooked. I read multiple newspapers online throughout the day and usually go to bed reading Newsweek. As I was doing research for work today, I realized how important the news is to doing our job analyzing and influencing policy. Our office relies on what the news media gathers and in turn, uses forums like the editorial page to get its own point across. We even had an event 2 weeks ago in the Edward Murrow room at the Press Club to invite journalists to write about Guantanamo Bay issues.

Maybe my frustration with the news comes from the fact that I know how influential they can be and how they are not living up that. They have the power to investigate like few people can, shape the debate, influence people.

As I had to "dig" to find stuff about extrodinary rendition (CIA outsourcing torture...if you don't know about it already, read about it because it's crazy stuff), government watch lists, and habeas corpus stuff, I thought to myself "why isn't this stuff making headlines?" The more current events I read outside of the very mainstream news, the more disappointed I am: both at the fact of what's actually going on but moreso that so many people are compeltely unaware.

I know a lot of people, especially people my age, are sick of it. I even met a guy who was in tv and broadcast journalism for four years who got so sick of it by the end that he decided to go to law school instead. (some of you may laugh at the thought the someone though law was a more noble profession). I wonder if it will get to the point that it will be so bad, the pendulum will swing and people will demand better.

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