By: Joan E. Battey

Print news is fading fast from the national scene. Even faster than most of us realized, it is also changing focus to speed re-defining of "news"! Along the way from news, views and information, more effort now goes into fleeting, non-news than broad-based informative news. The new targeted audiences are most often those missing in-depth news and analysis from other sources. Major news is often of limited access by those most in need of it. As a result, many issues are barely, if at all, visible, until they suddenly rise to headline crises. Small publications do yeoman's work, continuing old-time reporting and fact-checking, in the face of changing advertising choices and practices, while also filling the special needs of smaller audiences.

Votes, careers and needed warnings are influenced by what real news or generic knock-off equivalent, is favored by those who make the choices. Often that news is rarely available, or even seen, by those most affected by it. Major newspapers are fast removing print editions from easy access by those who have little time or ability to search electronically for needed accurate information. That then results in missing needed information, or perhaps forgetting to search for on-going details.

Surveys, when first instituted ,were used to find out how to improve products, to reveal flaws in need of correction, to know how to please more customers and garner more sales. Now they're are more often carefully crafted pseudo opinion surveys to garner donations to keep the money flowing, and things moving along as originally planned. Questions are carefully crafted to get desired results.

Could there be clues to problems of growing kinds and magnitudes? Could they be hidden in a small fleeting "news" focus this week? The latest Harris Poll released results of their latest important polling topic. They found that "Only a third of U.S. adults" describe themselves as "very happy". This downward trend covers just the last three years.. Crisis !! The sky is falling! How can we correct this ominous condition of "not being happy"?

How can we "Be Happy" and not worry? Will funding polls on "how.." be the next priority? How soon then will multiple courses and committees appear and need funds, to teach "How to Be Happy" ? Have we been educated to prioritize total safeguards and guaranteed "happiness"? The IRS is in headlines for questionable behaviors and actions, and yet they were "Happy" at a lavish convention,. They relaxed and followed instructors in line dancing. They didn't show any apparent worry. Should we ask why level of "happy" is a prime focus anywhere in news in today's time of multiple crises?. Apparently it's of utmost urgency, if it's priority-one in assessing what is in need of attention.!

In old-time inexpensive home party games, guests were divided into two teams. One would cleverly hide a small object to blend in with other objects in the room. The other would then try to discover it, within a set time limit. Winning or losing depended on awareness of before and after. Media today has too often played the same type of game, but with rules steadily changed as time has gone on."News"gradually morphed into "mostly news," and then to "somewhat news, but.." and then morphed into "selective overkill news". We need to shift back to needed news "in plain sight." Otherwise, we'll all eventually be in the "Who's Not Happy" category. Real news is what is needed, what is informative, what is readily available, and accurate. "Happy" is not an accurate barometer for judging "news." A Santa, Tooth-Fairy Happiness barometer approach is long past its "end-of-childhood" Sell-by Date.

"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Joan E. Battey is a freelance political writer from Apalachin, NY. Her love of logical dot connecting and writing developed over many years of  typesetting and proof reading in small daily newspapers; ad agency and manufacturing office secretarial work, and volunteer work in libraries, animal welfare, political campaigns, and networks of people keeping abreast of the steady "reforms" in education. She is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Joan E. Battey can be reached at: jedithb@stny.rr.com

Published in the June 14, 2013 issue of  Ether Zone.
Copyright 1997 - 2013 Ether Zone.

We invite your comments on this article in our forum!