Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Town Crier

“Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!"
Before instant electronic communications or before printing had refined technology and long before most people could read, a fella in a bright red coat stood in the public square, rang a bell and read the announcements of the town.
News of the world, much less the county, could take days or months to arrive and be distributed through word of mouth and a series of interpretations.
This was the only news source and our lives were formed on what we heard. The church reinforced our news with a moral explanation and we believed it.
Then there was competition. New opinions and editorials shook our one-shop-stop news and questioned our beliefs.
From not that many years ago, the newspaper landed on the doorstep every morning. There were pages of sports, comics, recipes, fashion, local politics, stock reports, lots of advertising for cars and grocery coupons and editorials giving the opinion of the publisher to persuade the reader’s comprehension of local and world events. Radio had it’s own brief slant on news but was mostly listened to for music, weather and traffic reports. Television brought moving pictures with narration by wise white men trying not to editorialize.
Today the established new media has as many variations as a public view with no differentiation between entertainment and journalism.
And the social media platforms present personal opinions as fact with reports, blogs, web pages, and comments. Every event is recorded and posted with whatever bias attached to it. The flood of information (true or not) overwhelms the laws of ethical journalism with background checks and investigative reporting to viral videos. The ones with the most views must be real?
The news that was fit to print and for the public to know was pushed by the established newspapers but now it is downloaded and viewed from questionable sources and our bias and prejudices spread to our friends and family and anyone else who will listen to our ranting of Believe it Or Not.

“Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!"
“Publix buys former Martin's grocery store building on Forest Hill Ave. in South Richmond”
“Virginia Democrats slam Trump's move to end DACA immigrant program, Gillespie wants 'legislative solution'”
“Henrico man shot to death on Monday identified; Richmond man arrested”
“State police helicopter that crashed outside Charlottesville, killing 2 officers, was not struck by any objects”
“John Stallings named president of Union Bank & Trust after leaving SunTrust”
“UVa athletic director Craig Littlepage to retire”
“Chef Mike Ledesma opening new restaurant in Scott’s Addition, in former Joy Garden space”
“Beyonce, Streisand to headline Harvey relief telethon”
“Trump rescinding DACA program protecting young immigrants”
“Man arrested after deadly shooting in Prince George Wendy’s”
“Some strong storms tonight; Irma intensifies”
“Head lice cases on the rise as students head back to school”
“Anna Faris Is ‘So Scared’ To Release ‘Intimate’ Book About Her Life”
“How We Could Better Leverage Social Media During Disasters Like Harvey?”
“Prince William Says There’s ‘Not Much Sleep’ With Third Baby On The Way”
“Lin-Manuel Miranda Sings ‘Magic School Bus’ Theme In Netflix Trailer”
“Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!"

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