“That’s not how the NEWS works sir!”…REALLY???

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By Kenneth Justice

~ Nearly a decade ago one of those MASSIVE Freeway-Signs that are connected to the overpass bridges came loose during a violent windstorm (it had recently been replaced and not attached properly) and came crashing down upon my SUV and sending me careening into the side of the expressway.

I had been traveling 70 MPH (roughly 112 kilometers) when all of a sudden it felt like a meteor had come crashing onto my vehicle. The roof of the automobile immediately buckled from the pressure and crashed down up on my head while at the same time 8 foot long metal poles from the sign blew out the front window entirely spewing glass all over me.

While everything occurred too quickly for me to have one of those ‘life flashes before my eyes moment’ it was days later when I realized how fortunate I was to have not suffered any major injuries or to have died.

All the next week my phone blew up with calls from the NEWS media. Within 72 hours I’d received calls from every local TV station, all the newspapers, and nearly a dozen different radio stations all requesting interviews with me; in all I counted more than 35 different requests for interviews.

Of course I work a normal Mon-Fri job, in fact at the time I was working every Saturday and every other Sunday, so for me to set aside my personal time to be interviewed by 35 different NEWS outlets was simply a massive inconvenience.

As I began turning down one interview after another, the various journalists were incredulous, “Why wouldn’t you want to give me an interview?” asked one stunned newspaper reporter.

Because I don’t feel like losing money by not working to give you an interview” I said

One particular television NEWS reporter called me five times, getting nastier with me each time,

You HAVE to give me an interview” she said at one point

No I don’t HAVE to do anything, but if you want to compensate me for the time I will lose from work then I’ll consider doing the interview” I said

That’s not the way the NEWS works Sir, the NEWS isn’t about money!” she barked

Really?” I said, “So you’re not getting paid to do your work? The television station isn’t making profit from the advertisers?

Sir, we don’t pay for interviews. It isn’t ethical!” she yelled back at me

Actually, you do. It’s well known that certain celebrities give interviews to the highest paying NEWS outlet; what you’re really saying is that because I’m not a celebrity you won’t pay me” I said

In the end I gave one interview to a reporter at a small local newspaper. It was a small paper that clearly wasn’t bringing in millions of dollars trying to profit off of sensationalistic journalism.

Ultimately, there is a lot of hypocrisy in the NEWS media. We can pretend that they aren’t driven by the almighty dollar; but let’s be honest, money is a MAJOR element of the NEWS media. Things were different a generation ago when we didn’t have 24 hour news stations. Now it seems as though the media blows out of proportion anything and everything in order to gain ratings (and higher earnings).

We can pretend that the NEWS media isn’t biased but everyone is biased; that’s a fact of life. Of course, what exactly all of this means I’m not really sure. Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,

Kenneth



Categories: Culture & Society

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31 replies

  1. glad you’re better now! thanks for confirming what I suspected
    that nuze is not what it seems 🙂

  2. Were there photos to go along with that story? miraculous

  3. And still we watch those channels. Knowing full well they squeeze out every drop of news out of the first ladies nosebleed.
    Ooh hell they can fill a day with that. Or better about her not so much the nosebleed. But the maker of the dress she spilled blood on, the napkin picked up by a bystander. and not to mention the eyes witnesses. hundreds who will even claim the president hit her.

    Oh the news doesn’t work that way. Sorry my bad.

    Turn it off. the less we watch the less money they make.

  4. So glad you recovered from the accident ok, Kenneth.
    Sounded horrific.

    I’m not inclined to believe anything much via the media. It’s not necessarily the facts they present. It’s the fact that they only tell you what they want you to hear. They don’t necessarily tell you the whole story. I often wonder if it’s the info they DON’T report to the public, that is the vital news.

    And now being 4 years into my Photography hobby, I know a number of ways to crop, erase, paste & rearrange a photo, so even with my limited editing skill, I could distort a media photo too.
    (I was just cropping the top half off a photo tonight and the whole ‘story’ of the image is completely different).

    What a sad world we live in………the media has more power that the government it seems.

    I’m glad I’m out of the ‘rat race’ now.

  5. Learn the value of caller “ID” and voicemail or reject button for calls. I know reporters can be very over burdened, if it gets too bad you may have to get some type of protective order to make them stop harassing you. Oh btw, I’m glad you were not hurt and doing okay.

  6. “Man suffers a sign. Refuses interview.” – Buddhist Daily

  7. I’m glad you’re alive to tell the tale! And in light of what we’re hearing 24/7 about the Ferguson case, this needs to be said. Even though I grew up with a respect for journalism because my grandmother owned one of those small-town newspapers, it all was lost when I was 13 years old. My next door neighbor, the 16 year old prom king at the high school, drowned in a freak boating accident along with three other high school friends. Their bodies were missing for the better part of a week, and our street became a circus with media types. They would rush at me when I went next door to be with his younger sister, or cart home the leftovers that friends brought the family. I saw firsthand that there was no respect for the persons or individuals LIVING the story, just… the story. Like you said, news organizations have goal in mind: profit. Not that profit is a bad thing if that’s your stated purpose, but I thought the purpose of news organizations is to share and dispurse factual content. One really has to read, watch, or hear a multitude of news outlets to get a true grasp of a situation anymore, but I don’t think most do that. Sad…

  8. Bias is like a fuzzy logic

    >

  9. Put’s a whole new perspective on the news. Thanks

  10. Hard to believe so many people still watch and even trust the news reporters! Of course they are biased! The news media is owned and operated by BIG BUSINESS! They are NOT working for us, they are working for their employers. The less we watch the news, read the papers, or pay ANY attention to these people, the better off we’ll be.

  11. Wow..an “I almost died story”…oh the things you could have done with that accident. Lucky for them, you’re a man with integrity. 😀

  12. I think we’ll start seeing more niche, non-profit news media websites pop up, which will eventually take over most of modern media. What’s left will just be entertainment.

    Having studied journalism and attempted to get a journalist job, I think the industry is meant to be a little elitist. In order to stand the best chance, you basically have to work as a full time reporter during college, something which often adds at least one more year of college – college you have to pay for. Once you graduate, the typical path is to get an internship for 6 months to a year that is unpaid.

    You have to be rich already to manage that or fall into a crazy amount of debt. One or the other. I’m sure there are other ways to become a journalist, but that seemed to be the path everyone agreed upon. There’s nothing wrong with a rich person becoming a journalist, but if the system is set for mostly privileged people to achieve that career, then the industry as a whole will have a bias.

    • “there’s nothing wrong with a rich person becoming a journalist….”

      Agreed. I do question how slanted the industry has become in favor of making profit of off sensationalism, makes me think that it isn’t a good thing

  13. Great observation on the news business.

  14. I think you’re on to something here….television, and it doesn’t matter what show it is….even if it’s labeled the news…is “entertainment.”

  15. Great post, Kenneth… thanks for sharing!

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