One of my primary complaints about the press at all levels is their habit of getting a quote from a politician, expert, anonymous source, etc. and call it a day—Stenography Journalism at its finest. We are told what was said, not what is known.
With the recent release of Obama’s “budget” and Quinn’s “budget” we are witnessing an onslaught of cries and moans about how every taxpayer funded program is just too vital and important to cut.
In today’s A section of the Hare-Dispatch alone there are three separate articles about the tragedy that will be visited upon the land if even one dollar is cut from these various and sundry sacred cows.
Two of the articles are about how state budget cuts are “proposed on the backs of children and families in need.”
The other one is an op-ed by the general manager of WQPT who predicts cuts on the federal level will “kill” it.
One story in the QCTimes is about the hysteria concerning possible cuts to job training programs.
All these stories, and every other one I’ve ever read have one thing in common; they are one-sided, fact-free diatribes from people who are not exactly objective.
This is where the press should step in with some fact-finding:
**How many of these job trainees actually find jobs? Are they being trained for jobs that actually exist or for fantasy “green” jobs? etc.
**How could PBS/NPR be weaned off taxpayer $$$? How about selling programming to cable, etc?
**How many of these safety net programs for the poor are there? Is the money being used efficiently? Could some of these programs be consolidated saving overhead and administrative costs? How much money actually goes to the downtrodden rather than bureaucrats and government workers? etc.
The easy way out for the press is to let these people who depend on our tax $$$ to just “tell their stories”, when they should be telling us if these programs are really worth it or not—-especially in an economy that will no longer sustain free everything for everyone.
Come on pressies, get to work informing the public on these important issues. If you have a burning desire to “tell stories”, write a novel.