Journalism 201 – Part I

Blogger’s Disclaimer: I may not agree with all the sources of information I’m presenting, and I don’t expect all my readers to agree. I just want to put it out there as food for thought. By the way, if you don’t agree with me, you can unfriend me on Facebook if it makes you feel good; however, I won’t unfriend you regardless of your opinion of this material.

Why Am I Doing this Blog?

This link takes you to my Crystal City – Part I blog post from March. This new blog will be about our mainstream media and other information, how most of us (me included) use it, how it affects us and our world, both positively and negatively, and some possible ideas on how we might acquire more accurate information and use it differently.

I’m thinking this blog will be in at least two parts, to make it easier to digest. Part I is just an introduction. In Part II, I’ll provide what I hope is thought-provoking material about media and information that seems to preoccupy all our lives.

Where were you the week that “he who shall not be named” (hereinafter referred to as “DJT”) was elected? We were in Portland, Oregon trying to get out of town on vacation during the week the presidential election results were announced. You probably noticed the immediate reaction (hard not to if you had a radio or TV turned on) all over the country. The question is, was that reaction based on emotions or was that reaction based on logical and rational thought? How did you react? More to come on that subject.

Side Note about Previously Elected Presidents

OK, this is a bit of a digression, but only to add a bit of perspective about our leaders and how they’re perceived. Months ago I happened to read something about some surveys done to rate the presidents that have been elected. It surprised me.  I’ll just give you an overview here, and you can go to the web sites and check out all the numbers (names, percentages, etc.) in detail if you like. My recommendation is start with wikipedia, which is what I did.

Top 10 most popular presidents ranked in order of popularity:

Rasmussen Poll (2007): Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy were the top three, followed by Reagan and Eisenhower in ninth and tenth place.

Greatest presidents:

Gallup Poll (2011): Reagan, Lincoln, and Clinton were the top three and Bush (G.W.) was in 10th place.

Gallup Poll (2013): Reagan in 7th place and Barack Obama was in 11th place.

Three other polls rated Reagan 2nd, Clinton 3rd , and Bush (G.H.W.) in 4th place.

Best presidents since World War II:

Quinnipiac Poll (2014): Reagan 1st on “best” list and Obama 1st on the “worst” list.

Quinnipiac Poll (2017): Reagan 1st and Obama 2nd on “best” list and Obama 1st on the “worst” list.

I guess I found the polls interesting partly because of Reagan’s high rankings. If you recall, when he was elected the first time, many thought that he would never be a good president, because he was an actor with no prior political experience. Not everyone agrees, but obviously the polls indicate that he did OK during his presidency.

Moving Beyond Journalism 101

Being a good journalist can’t be an easy job in the 21st century with all the distractions and pressures. There’s so much going on, so many sources of information, so much competition, and so many controlling factors. But let’s switch the view to you as the receiver of the news. How do you decide about what to believe and to trust? Not an easy question to answer.

Moving on to Part II now.

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Quiet, runner trying to sleep!

Canned Heat: Let’s Work Together

 

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