What’s the Real Scoop?

What’s the Real Scoop?

I’ll never forget meeting with an editor at a local newspaper to propose writing a column for the business section.

I said, “It’d help your customers. After all, many of your subscribers run small companies.”

He immediately corrected me, “Our subscribers are not our customers.”

In serious shock, I stammered, “Well, who are your customers?” After all, I paid money to get their paper delivered to my door each day.

He replied, “Advertisers.”

Call me naïve, but at that moment, I realized that profits drove the news media. And that changed everything.

Instead of being the person they served, I was simply a vehicle for their desired result. That meant they’d resist writing negative things about their real clients. Or they’d write outrageous headlines to suck me in. Or, or, or. Suddenly, I understood that news was big business.

That was 20 years ago. It’s even worse today—especially with television and online media.

Each of the media outlets has well-defined target markets. They know what their readers/viewers/subscribers like and don’t like—and give it to them so they keep coming back.

That’s how they serve their customers who want to reach this demographic. That's how they make money.

The difference is evident whether it’s about politics, global warming, inflation, world events, and more. I’m often surprised at what’s not being covered, too.

It’s easy to see when you compare CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.

And the worst thing about this? It drives us apart. We see the stupidity or ignorance of the “others.” We lose hope that we can come together to address the challenges our world is facing. We give up.

Personally, I refuse to let that happen.

I read a variety of newsletters offering different opinions and analyses on what can be done. I check different media apps regularly to see what’s shared, how it’s being reported and what's missing. It can be eye-opening.

I’m asking you to join me. Don’t let yourself get sucked into one perspective of the world. Sample others. It’s only by recognizing the humanity of others that we can find ways to work together.

We’ll all be in a better place.

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