Tuesday, May 1, 2007
In this little hamlet that I reside there are newspapers. Big surprise, huh? Well the two more predominant newspapers here are the Clarion Ledger and The Jackson Free Press. The Ledger is a fairly old, established Mississippi newspaper and The Jackson Free Press is a relatively new, alternative newspaper. For whatever reason, The Jackson Free Press continuously rails against the Ledger. A possible cause could be that the parent company of The Ledger, Gannet Corporation, has attempted to edge out the Free Press through some rather shady business practices. In response, the Free Press is constantly on the offensive against anything The Ledger does.
Recently, I was hanging out at one of my usual haunts, downing a few beers and discussing the situation with a, lets say, "executive" with The Ledger. I inquired to this person about why the Free Press despises The Ledger so much. The "executive" responded with, "You know, I really don't know. No one really noticed their little paper until they started whining about everything." I asked the "executive" about the business practices, but this person claimed no knowledge of that.
After a while we started discussing what the problems are with both papers. The Ledger is outdated. Their features revolve around knitting and have no concept of how to use the internet. The Free Press is self-righteous and more than not, prefers to make the news instead of report it. In the end, both papers are sub-par with sub-par editors. I have decided not to take a side in their little war, but sit back and watch them both look like fools. Don't get me wrong, though. I think both papers have many good reporters, I think the problem starts at the top of both of them.
The worst problem about these papers is the polarization that goes on with each. On one side you have the liberal camp, the Free Press, and the other, the established conservative camp, The Ledger. Both sides intensely look down at one another as being stupid. This is indicative about our culture today. Everything descends to polarization because people like the editors and people in charge at each of these media outlets push their agendas as the "right" one. With blogging and internet posting engaging the public on each of these media's websites, people become involve and fall in line behind their leaders. They cease to think for themselves, but merely rely on what is told to them through these media websites.