Imagine it is Monday morning, around nine o’clock. The President of the United States is suddenly and senselessly assassinated despite the country's finest protection surrounding him.

Imagine that you don’t receive news of this assassination for another two days. Imagine that there is no CNN or MSNBC tuned to your television, because televisions don’t exist. Imagine that BBC and CBS radio have not yet broadcast this news, as radio has not yet been invented. Imagine that the “wire”, the telegraph, has not alerted the major newspapers, because major newspapers are an idea whose time has yet to come, and the telegraph is still hundreds of years in the future.

No TV. No Radio. No Newspaper, and no internet.

There is no way to gather news except through word of mouth. Two days have already passed, and there will be no reason to spend hour upon hour gathering every little fact and tidbit there is to be gathered about this horrendous event in the world. That’s because you can’t, these ways have not been invented yet.

Can you imagine?

Can you imagine what 9/11 would have been like without the major Networks and CNN? Can you imagine not hearing the President on that day, assuring us that we were still safe, despite the terrorists attack?

Can you picture yourself in any “major” news event without the “News” being on the television, or broadcast over the radio, or being transmitted across the internet? Can you make that stretch?

Last week, a major miscommunication occurred during a crisis in a West Virginia mine. If you went to bed at the right time, you read on a ticker across the bottom of your screen that twelve men had survived the mining explosion and subsequent cave in. When you woke up the next morning, someone said , “Psyche”, and pulled the good news away from you as if it had all been a big joke being offered like an ice cream cone you would never get to taste. You had been deceived.

The things that make the major news media possible, and even this blog, for example, are not bad things. All of the technology we have in this medium can be used for good. All of it HAS been used for good, many times. But many other times, it isn’t used for good, or the results garnered end up being far less than good.

Anyone who has watched news media in the last fifteen years and is old enough to compare it to news media before then sees a difference in the way news is gathered and presented. Many see that the way news is presented is the biggest change. These changes have nothing to do with new technology. The changes to the presentation of news nowadays has everything to do with simple human trustworthiness.

Can a human being be trustworthy? I believe people can be. But in the news media of today, the only times we receive apologies for faulty reporting, or flat out lies, is when the news media is actually caught red-handed. That leads to one question at least. How many other times have they not been caught? Is that number even countable? (Whoops, that two questions. How many more are there?)

We trust the news media when a major story breaks. We want the facts, and in our society, information can literally fly at the speed of light. We want even the smallest bits of information, such as the ages of criminals, their background, what the weather was like, did anyone have information that could have prevented this, and who is to blame?

We always want to know who is to blame. That, and that alone, is the major driving force behind today’s news media. (After, of course, you consider that money is really the major driving force).

Almost every news person wants to make a name for themselves, and there are some, unfortunately, who will twist the truth, or tell outright lies, to get into, and stay, in the limelight. Sadly, so much of today’s news isn’t about the actual event, as it is becoming about the person reporting the news. In other words, when news reporters become the story themselves, stealing the light away from victims or champions, something is deeply wrong with our media.

We no longer so much as get the facts about a storm, as we then hear about the “Storm Team” that told us first.

We hardly hear about the drowning in the Fox River without hearing about some news station claiming they were first on the scene. Presidential coup? CNN got there first! Little surprise, when CNN’s budget for covering (or creating) news is larger than many STARVING third world country's budgets. We were there first, giving you ALL the information, ALL the time, ALL over this world!

As I finish this post, I wonder if we wouldn’t be better off without instant news all of the time?

Maybe it’s time for me to turn off the TV, the radio, and the computer news feeds. Maybe, just maybe, I don’t need to hear the same story reported over and over for ten days just because there is air time to cover. Maybe I don’t need to know right away that a bull gored a man who was taunting it. Maybe I don’t need to watch the talking heads pontificate about things they studied for one hour before they hit the air so they would sound like experts on everything.

Maybe it’s time for a change? Maybe we should try going without the news for a month, and see how it affects our lives? I think I am going to make an effort to be newsless (at least without television and radio). I don’t have to worry about the internet, I don’t read the news there anyway.

I wonder if our lives would be fundamentally better without all of this information. My Grandparents received news sometimes many days after it actually happened. Neither one of them was on Prozac or Xanax. Neither one of them sat in front of a TV for hours after FDR died. Nor did they receive minute by minute news on either World War. It wasn’t possible. Yet somehow…they survived.

It’s sad to say that it seems like we are dependant upon news and the media in this day and age. But somehow, I think the news is really just a commodity. And you know what a commodity is, don’t you? It’s where someone tells you a whole bunch of garbage, to create a need where a need isn’t needed at all.

That's what our news media has become. Want some?

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