Opinion | A New Paradigm


A New Paradigm


©2021 by Vernon Miles Kerr, VernonMilesKerr.com

Originally posted to Twitter as a rouigh draft on 8/20/2021

One’s mind can’t help but be inundated by the tsunami of news coming in daily.  The Internet consumer’s view of the world is shaped by that information flood.

Right now, my view is not all that positive.: Town-consuming fires within 100 miles of where I’m sitting at this moment.  Vignettes of a savage, religion-obsessed rabble turning a nation which was struggling to be modern into a medieval hell. Icecaps melting.  Sea-levels rising. Here in our own country a national legislature reduced to childish squabbling and blocking maneuvers, and a seething resentment building amongst the near half of our population who, after 156 years, is still trying to bring back the Confederacy — by violence if necessary, as they have recently shown. (Their rationale is “patriotism,” but their hidden agenda is White Supremacy.)

I could add to this list, as the reader well knows, but let’s get to the crux of this piece. What’s the main cause of all these woes of such incontrovertible Biblical-proportions? What’s behind the multiple veils, and is enthroned in the “holiy of holies” of managed news?  Is there a single cause, a “force majeure”? Or Is my trying to find one a naive attempt at reductionism? Is this flow of negativity simply a result of business-necessity

We’ve all heard the old saw about the media: “If it bleeds, it leads.” The origin of this phrase goes clear back to the 1890s and is attributed to William Randolph Hearst. Newspapers then, as all media now, needed “eyeballs” to justify advertising rates. I just read an excellent article from Pepperdine University’s “Pepperdine Graphic.” Advocating abandonent of “If it bleeds, it leads” from modern journalism. Reform from within the journalistic community is a good first step, as is more focus on the empathetic aspects of reporting about violence suggested by the article’s author Sarah Best. — but reformers will need to provide equally-interesting and provocatve subjects as replacements in order to keep the business office happy. In the meantime, it will be incumbent on us, the news-consumer to curate what we allow our curiosities to ingest. There is plenty of good news, off the front page of the Internet, buried in the later sections that can be used to buffer the acid of constant negativity.

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