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Too much time on my hands? Nah. Just a new blog targeting the news media.

January 12, 2011

Because apparently I have no limit of opinions, I’ve begun a new blog site, The Shadow Ombudsman.

It will have the same feel as Tilting at Windmills, but with a very specific target: the media. All of it, broadcast networks, cable news, international broadcasters, internet-based news organization, local newspapers and new media.

Why, you may ask, have I decided to put journalists in my cross hairs? (Yeah, that’s right, that’s the analogy I used.) Because so many of them are either lazy or just plain bad. You’re ruining the only profession I ever truly loved.

There are fascists with better integrity and balance. Potheads with better determination and grit.

Are there good members of the media? Of course. The BBC does a very good job. Christiane Amanpour seems to be resisting the unbalanced perspective of ABC News, though I don’t think she’s right for a desk job, she’s best in the thick of it. CNN, while boring and bordering on trivial, seems to have the least number of toxic talking heads.

Here’s my theory in a nutshell, if you’re a member of the media, you don’t get to broadcast an opinion. Overload us with facts and interviews, but cover the issues from every angle, and do it in the same news package. Don’t give us three weeks of one-sided perspective with a news break from the other side on a Saturday afternoon.

News agencies should not be ratings grabbers until something happens to boost ratings. And if you want a ratings whore talking head, that’s fine. Just make sure he or she is bookended by two broadcasts that actually ARE fair and balanced.

So, yes, I plan to howl about a lot of bad news stories I see on a day-to-day basis. I probably won’t post as often as I do to this site, but when a particularly bad example of “news” comes to my attention, I’ll be pointing it out to you and how it could be better. Not out of hate, but because I still believe the Fourth Estate has an important role in how a population interacts with each other and its government. The vocation of journalist is too important to be left in the hands of the well-coiffed and obtuse.

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