Sunday, July 17, 2011

Media Diet - What I Read


While driving to work around 4 am in the border region of Texas known as the Rio Grande Valley, I’ll turn on my satellite radio, first to SiriusXM Left, which at that time is replaying the previous day’s “Make It Plain” with Mark Thompson.  I’ll listen for awhile, but will sometimes turn the knob a couple of channels to the left to SiriusXM Patriot (I still find that strange - turn the dial to the left and get right-wing radio) and listen to a replay of the Wilkow Majority with Andrew Wilkow, another one of the dime-a-dozen, obnoxious conservative radio talk show hosts, who is SO sure he has all the answers.  Similar to Mark Levin, Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh.  They all say the same thing.  In fact, if you think about it, Rush hasn’t said anything different for 20 years.  Really.  Think about it.  But also being a music fan, sometimes I’ll just go straight to SiriusXM Public Radio, which at that time of the morning is replaying the Soundcheck program.  For anyone with a diverse interest in music, Soundcheck is a fantastic show and host John Schaefer makes it so.
When I get in to work, I’ll sit down with my jug of orange juice and log in to Twitter, which considering who I follow, has pretty much become my go-to news wire.  I’ll then tweet any local, national or international news that has broken overnight.  I also peruse the websites of our local newspapers and TV stations for any overnight news to rewrite for our morning news show.
During the day while gathering, writing and reporting news, I’m reading the news wires and constantly checking, and contributing to, Twitter. 
When I  get home, I flip between CNN, FOX and MSNBC, either during or after dinner.  I’ll usually nod my head in agreement watching Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz, get irritated with Bill O’Reilly, become embarrassed listening to the conservative talking points Sean Hannity reiterates ad nauseam, and shake my head in disgust watching Greta Van Susteren.
Before the day is done, I may check out the daily post from RTDNA and read some of the industry headlines.  I’ll catch the local TV newscasts before I hit the sack, and maybe some of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
As for critics of the profession, Jay Rosen’s opinions and theories are must-read material, as are those of Dan Gillmor.
On my Facebook page, I “Like” Mother Jones, The Nation, Salon, The Daily Beast, HuffPo, Politico, The New Republic, National Review (yes, National Review), NPR, The Onion, and DownBeat Magazine.
There’s so much I don’t often get to.  I’d read Glenn Greenwald and Digby every day if there were enough hours in the day.  I’ll try to catch up on the weekends, just to get my mind straight.  Paging through Sports Illustrated is now a luxury.  Also my son, an English Lit grad, is telling me there are all these great books I've got to read.  There are several on my nightstand, still waiting to be read.
For conservatives reading this, I can already hear you say, “See, this is what we mean by the liberal media.”  Yes, my personal views lean left, but I was trained to not let my personal beliefs influence my news writing.  (And you can believe this or not) I adhere to that training.  That said, there are some issues that are just not up for debate, that do not mandate that a news story be fair and balanced.  Some issues require only that the story be true.