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Hunkered Down in Bremerton

Our Country Still Needs Newspapers and Print Magazines

Hardly anyone reads newspapers anymore or mainsteam news magazines. The vast majority of Americans get their news from either television or social media. That's too bad. I admit that I don't receive paper newspapers or magazines but I read both our local Kitsap Sun and then the national Washington Post on-line every day on their apps. I actually pay for subscriptions. I also watch television news including local coverage and most frequently World News Tonight - with David Muir.

There has been much kerfluffle over recent years about which media entities are and which aren't disseminating fake news. What even does fake news mean anymore? Is it simply not reporting the Trump news? or is it more?

Like everything, it's not a simple issue. To me fake news is information that is not sufficiently reviewed by editors before it is presented as news. At newspapers and news magazines editors check all news articles before they are published. An editor or an editorial committee will look at each piece that is submitted for publication to determine sereral things:

  • Is the submission fit for publication for the readership?
  • Is the information contained factually correct?
  • Does the information to be presented seem logical?
  • Is the infomation presented in a fashion that can be understood by the reader?
  • Is there a bias favoring one side of an issue?

Good editors at quality publications stop submmited pieces before they can be printed. Readers learn to trust media that does this. Editing does not happen with what is presented as news in social media. It happens very little for televsion.

As an example on broadcast televsion World News Tonight - with David Muir which is on ABC-Disney claims to be the most watched news program and often the most watched program on televsion. That may well be true, and more Americans may get news from them than for any other source. IMHO that's too bad. In the past couple of weeks Muir as been critical of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and its director Rochelle Walensky for changing the isolation standards for those who have tested positive for Covid-19 and making them weak and unprotective. He has repeatedly urged the CDC to change their standards.

What the CDC said is that for those who are asymptomatic and test positive they should remain in isolation for five days (down from ten) unless they develop systems. If they develop symptons of Covid-19 they should remain in isolation for an additional time period and then be retested. No big deal. This would help to prevent the testing system from being overtaxed and will keep the lines shorter. People who are asymptomatic are far less likely to spread Covid-19 than those who are experiencing symptons.

It seems to me that many people who consider themselves news professionals, especially at ABC-Disney don't hear the asymptomatic part. They think the CDC is telling everyone that it is ok to relax isolation standards five days after testing positive. No No No. Only if you were asymptomatic when you were tested and remain asymptomatic for five days should you come out of isolation They don't even realize it their mistakes.. and there seems to be no editors to catch these issues. This should make them the stupid news but the term fake news has become more widely used.

Wait a minute Howard, you may say, who edits what you write? This is an opinion piece. It's not news... it's just how I react to the news. America still needs to rely on news media and journalists with high journalistic standards and editors in the newsroom.

Howard B. Julien

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Updated January 22, 2022