I hadn't finished my first cup of coffee this morning. I had finished both the morning papers. There just wasn't enough in them to keep me busy. I don't read the want ads which are skimpy at best. I avoid the obituaries like the plague and the stories pulled from the wire services are at least a day old if not more.
The only regional newspaper has completely eliminated the northern Idaho edition and stories in the local daily are mostly that - local. Unfortunately, things that would be of interest like city council meetings or commissioners' meetings are rarely covered. We get more coverage of Chamber of Commerce ribbon cuttings and photos of social events than hard news.
Newspapers have become an endangered species. Advertising revenues are way down. The cycle has become self perpetuating. Okay. Enjoying the papers with my morning coffee may now be a generational phenomenon. Who else has the time to spend an hour or so reading a paper from cover to cover other than retirees?
So what do you do? Turn to TV news? Living in a small market, viewers are at a disadvantage to begin with. We tend to get inexperienced young reporters who's names we've barely learned before they, if they're any good at all, move on to larger markets. We get those left behind and their lack of reporting skills leave us more often in the dark than not. I can't help but question their financial woes when we're told a news crew is being dispatched to the scene of an accident hours after it has happened. On the next newscast we get to watch a reporter standing on an empty stretch of highway explaining to us what had happened hours before. Go figure.
Now advertising revenue is down for the broadcast media. Is it any wonder? Just this last week there was a story in the Inlander regarding substantial layoffs at the local CBS affiliate. They've cut mostly behind the scenes personnel, including producers. You know, the very people who make the newscasts work!
Even the network news has become little more than a recap of the day's headlines. As for cable, you'd have to watch a full slate of both FOX and MSNBC to get both sides of what's happening then figure out where the middle is and you may have an approximate idea of reality.
That leaves the computer. The papers have their blogs and on line editions, the TV stations have their blogs and on line editions and the Internet has it all.
Who has time to sort through all of it? I do but I won't. There are too many other things to do! Too many bloggers already spend too much time at work on line; I've never understood that!
I'm lucky. I have a Mac. Mac's rarely crash. Hub runs Windows and has spent the last three days sorting out a problem. During that time he had to read his headlines and papers on my computer. If it should crash - or the whole Internet should go down as it does more often than is convenient with our local Time Warner, how does one stay informed?
It has become a downward spiral that reminds me of a tornado. At the very bottom there is nothing left except the devastation. The remnants will be an uninformed populace.
Who will know? How will they find out?
I'm already devastated and it's only because I have too much coffee to drink with my papers. I can make a smaller pot. I'll really be devastated when there is no reason to brew a pot at all!