From the Editor - No such thing as ‘The Media’

Posted 7/20/22

I borrowed this week’s title from a long-ago colleague. Many years ago, he tried to stress the point that people referring to “The Media” is not quite accurate. Today, that statement is truer …

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From the Editor - No such thing as ‘The Media’

Posted

I borrowed this week’s title from a long-ago colleague. Many years ago, he tried to stress the point that people referring to “The Media” is not quite accurate. Today, that statement is truer than ever.

In reading articles and information about our industry, we often hear “The Media,” especially when we are being put down for the state and attitude of the nation.

Here’s where I am going with this — There is no such thing as “The Media” because an organization like Colorado Community Media and a CNN, FOX News or New York Times are not alike at all.

Television, radio, major news stations and major newspapers are not all made of the same cloth. Mainstream media and the small-town newspaper, which I will argue are more valuable today than ever, are nothing alike and the reporters doing the work are completely different.

Over the last week, I read an interesting article where a journalist even says she is sick of the news and listened to a radio show that talked about just how tired of news the average American is. I have to say, I agree. Over the last few years, my news consumption has decreased tremendously. I rarely go near television news at all anymore.

Here’s where the discussion gets interesting. Some who are talking about this topic are saying it happened during the pandemic when Americans just got tired of all of it. On a local radio show, the host recently talked about what happened to “The Media” when Donald Trump was elected president. Was it the pandemic or Donald Trump?

I think the reasoning in both cases have valid points. I think Bill Maher said it best about the pandemic when he said at some point media coverage on COVID became more about “scaring the sh#$ out of people” over informing and reporting. There is some truth to that.

Instead of reading and listening to commentary about the pandemic, I paid attention to local information and turned to the well-done data chart NPR created that just showed numbers on how each state was doing.

Then, we have the Donald Trump effect. The former president did the media and nation no favors. The media became like a dog with a bone, covering every aspect of Trump’s unconventional way of leading this nation. Agree with the former president or not, I would argue with anyone telling me the media did a great job during his four years in office.

Look at the Hunter Biden situation, I have a hard time believing that mainstream media would have ignored this story as much as they have if the name behind the investigation was Trump Jr.

The problem with the pandemic and Trump’s presidency is the distrust in the media has grown, the divide in this country is huge and the impact is felt on media companies like CCM, where we are more worried about what your local city council and school board is doing than we are about whatever Biden’s press secretary said today.

As distrust mounts and we are blamed for “The Media,” newspapers nationwide are closing and creating what is being referred to as “news deserts.”

CNN and Fox News will weather the storm, speaking to their respective audiences who tune in to hear what they want to hear.

However, once the local, community newspaper is no longer available, learning what local council members are doing, where your local tax dollars are going and why in the world the lanes are closed for construction again on Broadway — will no longer be available to you.

Bottom line, don’t lump your local, community newspaper in with your disdain for “The Media.” Instead, we ask that you support us as we continue to build and grow to serve 24 communities along the Front Range.

Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media.

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