Letters

This Just In…

March 21, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written by SHERALYN ROMAN

The world of journalism is a constantly evolving, ever changing, “always in motion” kind of world. Newspapers are locked in head to head battles over headlines and social media forces everyone into a constant game of “one upmanship” for who has the better tagline and who broke the story first. The search for the next best news story was perhaps best summarized by Don Henley, in his song Dirty Laundry, when he sang: “Can we do the operation? Is the head dead yet, get the widow on the set?” For me however, as I sit and reflect on what’s making news this week, vs. what made the news last week and what is likely to make the news next week, I can’t help but think – “this just in” isn’t “new” news at all. Rather, I simply think – again?

Here is what I mean:

• Doug Ford made, makes, or will make an announcement on education. AGAIN. (He did these three separate times in fact, during March Break while no one was around to hear it).

• Britain voted, votes, or will vote on Brexit. AGAIN.

• Caledon locked in, is locked in or will be locked in to a heated battle with Brampton and Mississauga on the right to self-governance. AGAIN.

• Trump tweeted, is tweeting, or will tweet something dumb, ignorant, foolish, nonsensical or alarming. AGAIN. (Granted this one occurs virtually hourly but we had to include it!)

• An additional GTA Highway running through Caledon was, is, or will be on the planning table. AGAIN.

• Justin Trudeau shuffled, is shuffling or will shuffle his cabinet. AGAIN. 

• And the most poignant one of all, the saddest commentary on our human existence: Some lunatic, right wing, left wing, fringe group or lone extremist shot, shoots, or will shoot (Muslims, Jews, Christians, members of the LGBTQ community, elementary or high school students) thereby expressing their particular brand of fanaticism by killing untold numbers of innocent people. AGAIN.

So, what is the race to be first in the news really all about? What’s the hurry to be first to share the bad news? I mean, I get it – it’s what keeps journalists employed and the world informed. There is power in knowledge: the power to learn, and the potential for change. It’s journalists who ask the hard-hitting questions of our politicians, expose scandal and offer insightful commentary on why the bad news just keeps reoccurring. Journalists force people to step out of their comfort zones and think hard about the world around them. It’s the papers and the social media and twitter that incites, (or invites – which is the better word?) cries for justice in the face of awful hate crimes. But when the dust settles, when the storm has blown over, what then? Sure, sometimes change happens and sure it’s nice that the world stops, ever so briefly, to give “thoughts and prayers” and to mourn the various victims of various crimes but then what? 

Why, after Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School aren’t there better gun laws in the U.S.? Why aren’t we impeaching Trump? Or Ford for that matter? Can we impeach Doug Ford? Is that a thing here in Canada? I seem to be asking a lot of questions today. These are not original questions I’ll admit. They’ve been asked before – they’ll probably be asked ……Again. 



         

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