I've been thinking back to my college days lately. From the moment I entered Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State University) in the fall of 1987, I knew what I wanted to major in and what field I want to pursue: media. I felt I could do work in any media field: radio, TV or newspaper. At that time there was no such creature as "the Internet."
After working for over twenty years in all three forms of media, I feel that being a member of the media is being rendered meaningless by corporate greed and their need to pander to those who hate the media.
For instance, at least two of the major corporate radio chains have cut the jobs of local talent and replaced them with inexperienced, untrained, uneducated part-timers, who are simply there to make sure the automation runs a feed from another city. This has already caused some embarrassment for one company during a recent tornado.
The talk radio industry enjoys hiring people who are outside broadcasting or journalism to host shows. A big trend is to hire out-of-work politicians, political consultants or business people to be "the voice of reason." Many of the talk radio host (some local host included) have their "callers" prearranged. These are friends reading from scripts or are political consultants masquerading as "regular people." (How many regular people do you know named "Jack-Jack") Local some of the talk radio shows have very little screening or gate keeping. Part of this is due to time constraints of the "open forum" nature of the show, but also because Bubba Earl Thorndike from Dry Knobb or Betty June Nosbey from Koshginong gets upset if they don't get on the air to give their opinion.
Locally, the News Leader has let go of several well-known, respected and talented journalist in favor of giving a column to people like this redneck idiot.
Websites for local TV stations and newspapers have "comment sections" which allow Bubba Earl and Betty June to slam a story if they don't like it and overrule what ever KOLR's Joy Robertson or KYTV's Ethan Forhetz said. "That'll learn dem thar media folks a lessin."
And don't get me started on the "stars" created by reality TV!
RBR/TVBR reports that a Republican lawmaker in Michigan wants journalist to be licensed by the state. Bad part, I agree with a little of this. A law requiring a journalist to get a license is wrong (especially when you read the provisions), however, holding corporate media management responsible for hiring skilled, educated journalist rather than amateur hacks that "represent the average citizen" when most of these people sound like Klan members.
What in the long run cost less? The salary of a good journalist/media person or a lawsuit after Bubba and Betty slandered someone or didn't air a tornado warning.
I guess what bothers me is the fact that I got into the media to be a "voice" people listened to and trusted. Every place I have worked has forced me into the background while making the amateur the "voice" that I should be. Supposedly, their opinions and interest are more important than mine. That is why I had to start this blog is because some people in the commercial media don't feel I represent the "typical Ozarks view" or my ideas "might upset" Ozarkers.
Of course, that is why I'm considered the Super Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
BTW: Doesn't Paris Hilton make a cute reporter?