Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Just blowing off steam"... or, "What's "News," Anyway??"

Do you like the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" style of title to this?

Okay,  I've been silent long enough about some things, and today's the day to speak out. 

I'm a media owner SICK of the B.S. showing up in news,(and some of Facebook's obvious bending of reality, too)  but yet, I feel a RESPONSIBILITY to carry State,  National and International events on WION  for those who work "away" from other sources! (like Ionia's corrections workers, for instance, and others who are not allowed their phones and PC' at work but CAN hear a radio playing.  THESE are some of our most important types of listeners.)

1) We'll start small here with social media.   Facebook: STOP telling us we don't respond fast enough to posts. (new.) This isn't EBay! We don't need ratings on EVERYTHING in life.  Not everyone is "glued' to your pages every minute of every day, and those who ARE  probably need to get a life!  If someone needs to reach WION Radio in an urgent manner, Facebook is not the way. How about a....(drum roll please)....PHONE CALL!  Even an E-mail is higher priority than FB posts!  Many posts to pages these days are obviously SPAM, need to be rejected, and this new system rating our response time is about as effective as your "calculated distribution of our posts" in which you, (FB) decide WHO of our fans and contacts sees them via your internal arithmetic algorithm.  These ratings and actions serve only to reduce FB's overall effectiveness, and definitely shows why RADIO is called "mass media" not, "social media."

2) (From today's 10AM and other CBS news broadcasts:)   National News: Shut UP about Americans not having enough LIFE INSURANCE. The last thing we need is some government official hearing this and writing legislation mandating that our funerals are paid-for by "others" under some kind of a "National need for decent funerals" plan.  Just because some industry-associated report (in this case "")  says not enough life insurance is sold to American adults, (meaning big corporate insurance coffers are not as full as they'd like) it is NOT time for big media to make this another trumped up national problem.  The purchase of this type of product is UP TO THE INDIVIDUAL. It's something we, as citizens are to be conscious of once we have a few years under out belt in the adult working world. It's simply NOT NEWS. I don't want it turning into "ObamawillburyUcare."

3)Trademarks and the "Redskin" Name:

SINCE WHEN is our country guaranteeing everyone "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of NEVER taking PERSONAL offense?  NOT everyone cares about things as trivial in our world as the now historic naming of a sports franchise!   GET OVER IT and don't waste Federal dollars on such matters. There are bigger issues in the world that NEED attention and our dollars. Let's go one step farther. I had a discussion today with an associate of WION, and the name of the first Jeep I ever owned came up!   I LOVED my Jeep Cherokee, it was one of the BEST vehicles I ever owned. Is that next on the chopping block?  Will there be a mandate to pull the logos off  all of those GREAT vehicles?  How about my current (Jeep) "Liberty?"   The word "Liberty" might offend our federal govenment...or so one may think.....given the way our government continues to shrink our individual rights as citizens while they slowly legislate them away...trying to be "fair" to everyone. Maybe "Liberty" is a bad word we should start avoiding, too!

There are days, that I, owner/operator of  a smaller media find myself shaking my head  at the "bigger" media's values in what they choose to present as "news" to us. Today was just one of those days which stood out.  It is my belief that news editors have more power than they realize, but under-utilize it regularly.   Many proposed "news" items (like the life insurance one above) could be handled better by throwing the press release in the circular file, and then giving the airtime or column-inches to other more productive events, news, and happenings.  Many a "problem" manufactured for the media may simply goe away if not made to be "bigger than life" by the big media.  

We call it LIFE. NOT EVERYONE WILL BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME. Stop trying to make it-so! I thought it was bad when the drug ads on TV took longer to list side-effects than the drug's positive intended results, but it seems that is minor these days to making everyone "happy." I've got some news I learned long ago....a good dose of common sense combined with reasonable TOLERANCE goes farther toward happiness  than legislated, mandated decisions by any level of government trying to MAKE everyone happy.  And, give me credit, I won't even START talking about certain flags and their use and removal in state capitols and in vintage broadcast TV shows! 

I'm proud  to own a radio station, and proud to work locally to "better" our corner of the world, yet, I feel at times, the station owes you an apology for "news" we carry, though it's content is not in our control.  

That having been said...

We WERE, however,  VERY PROUD the week of the tornado in Portland, MI to be able to connect the "Michigan News Network" with a local church in Portland, so their fundraiser could be MORE successful THAN EVER, as they chose to share their prosperity with other local  churches damaged by the storms. Getting Portland St. Patrick's' parish statewide coverage with one phone call to the Michigan News Network, and the network's quick follow-up  shows what GOOD news can do, when it's allowed-to!

Thank you, MNN for taking our tip on Portland's church seriously, and responding.  You give me hope, and I'm grateful your people cared enough to feel the story idea was newsworthy.

And yes, to answer your question....
I DO feel better.