Credible News Sources

Recently, Keith Olbermann, on his MSNBC news show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, cited Fox News as the “worst persons in the world.” He claimed that the Fox News Channel is blatant right-wing propaganda. He also noted that President Obama, in a recent TV interview (the same interview, incidentally, as the now-notorious fly-swatting incident, in which, according to news reports on MSNBC, NBC, CBS, CNN and elsewhere, the President demonstrates his “remarkable fly-swatting skills”) claimed that there was at least one news channel dedicated to undermining his administration at all costs. Olbermann suggests that the President was referring to Fox News.

Back in the day when the Republicans controlled both houses as well as the Presidency, a period that might well go down in history as a modern-day Dark Ages or Reign of Terror, the Fox News channel was considered to be the bastion of credible news. So much so that all other news agencies were too afraid even to question their authority.

Fox News, owned by Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., had started on the premise that conventional news sources like CNN and network news operated on a principle of a subtle left-wing cultural bias resulting from the educational and social milieu of their journalists. The solution that Fox News apparently proposed was to dedicate a news channel to supposedly “fair and balanced” news coverage. “Fair and balanced” became their watchword, but it soon proved to be ironic. Over time, their supposedly objective news coverage has been exposed as right-wing propaganda that was pretty blatantly pandering to the Bush administration while they were in power.

This brings us to MSNBC’s news lineup. MSNBC is a news channel that is produced as a joint venture, as the name suggests, between Microsoft (the monolithic software giant founded by Bill Gates) and NBC. Their lineup of news shows supposedly offers us the alternative to Fox News, but, as implied by Keith Olbermann, what they are really offering us is left-wing propaganda that panders to the Obama administration.

The tragic consequence of all this government pandering and institutional propaganda is that the number-one casualty in mainstream news coverage is credibility. Where are the Woodwards and Bernsteins of today, with their stunning exposés of corruption in high places? Definitely not at either Fox News or MSNBC.

Perhaps the answer to where we can find credible news sources lies with CNN–still bland and presenting the façade of objectivity while concealing a subtle left-wing bias–who now, apparently, resorts to blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook posts to supplement their on-site correspondent reports. CNN even encourages you to submit amateur videos via the “iReport” section on their website, which allows them to feature the videos on their news shows after a process of vetting and verification. In fact, in the ongoing Iranian uprisings, where mainstream journalists are being banned and extradited by the authoritarian Iranian regime, western news sources are having to rely on Twitter feeds, blogs and amateur video from Iranian citizens as their news sources.

This brings us to the argument that mainstream news organizations have recently been making against the Blogsphere, especially in the wake of such recent films as State of Play, directed by Kevin Macdonald, namely that the Blogsphere is composed primarily of amateurs who are out of their depth, whereas if you are looking for cutting-edge Woodward-and-Bernstein style in-depth reporting, you will find it only at the major news organizations who have the skills and resources at their disposal to support that kind of news coverage.

The reality–at least two of the so-called major news organizations are dedicated to producing partisan propaganda that pretty shamelessly panders to politicians while the third is increasingly resorting to the Blogsphere to provide its news sources. As for Woodward and Bernstein, they are both retired and writing books for a living.

The moral of the story appears to be, therefore, that if you are looking for cutting-edge journalism, skip the news networks and, instead, check out the Blogsphere!

5 Reasons You Will Never Start A Blog

Ever wanted to know why you won’t start a blog? Here is a short list of reasons that stop most people from being successful in this venue. Do you fit any of these descriptions??

  1. You are way too lazy – Most people have a deep desire to make more money, get a different job, change their lives, etc. That’s why these topics are so popular. The problem is that most people won’t come anywhere close to doing anything about it. They complain about not having time or not knowing how to start one but the truth is they are just too lazy to learn how to do this stuff (which is very easy BTW) and everyone has SOMETHING to write about.
  2. You don’t think you can learn how to set up a website – MY MOM CAN SET UP A WEBSITE!!! She decided one day she wanted to learn, so we went through the steps and a few days later she was cranking out wordpress installations on her own. There is a ton of information out there on how to do it. It can be frustrating when you first get started but the documentation is very good and steps are accurate (at least from WordPress). Just stay calm and follow the steps. If you have any issues, look it up. In no time you will be setting up sites and blogging your heart out.
  3. You don’t have time – Nobody has time!! You have to make it. In all honesty, it doesn’t take all that much time to bang out a post. It’s usually the research that gets you. In order to write useful content you have to know what you are talking about. right? In order to avoid all the extra research time just write about what you know. Trust me there are plenty of people who will want to read what you have to say.
  4. You aren’t Committed enough – You just want to start a blog to make some quick money (not happening). you are just going to get bored of the little to no traffic and lack of results. Stick with it and gain some peoples trust. The traffic will follow!
  5. You have nothing to say – EVERYBODY has something interesting to talk about. The dumb stuff your kids do, the fact that you hate your job, how to change your oil, why you vote republican. Anything!! Somebody wants to know your opinion or the stuff you know!!

These are all limiting beliefs, and the truth is these reasons and the millions of other reasons you can think of are all in your head. The point is whether it’s starting a blog or quitting your job to become a bobsledder, it’s all in your head. You can do ANYTHING you THINK you can and if you don’t believe me, send me an email and we can talk..

Enjoy life!

Blog Humor – Ensure Your Reader’s Enjoyment by Keeping it Fun

Keeping a blog updated can be hard work. Keeping it entertaining is even harder. When you focus too much on getting content on your site, you may overlook the fact that people actually have to read your posts. If they don’t like what they are reading, or if they find that they are entertained more by another blog, they may leave you behind like yesterday’s news. It doesn’t have to be hard to add humor to your blog. You just have to keep a few key points in mind:

Be yourself. Blog readers can smell a phony a mile away. If you try to be someone you’re not, you’ll eventually get found out and people will stop viewing you as an authority. You have your own sense of style, so let it show in your posts. Don’t try to be Adam Sandler or Conan O’Brien. Their blog posts reflect their own comedic style, and yours should too. If you think it is funny, then people that have the same kind of personality as you will also find it funny. Those that don’t will either appreciate you for being genuine, or will move on to another blog that fits them better.

Consider your audience. If you are in a specific niche you will want to cater to that niche as much as possible. Take into consideration the typical demographics of people that would be reading your blog. Are they younger than you, older than you, the same age as you? Are they Democrats or Republicans? Conservative or Liberal. You shouldn’t bend over backwards to keep your core audience happy, but you don’t want to consistently upset them either. Remember the first rule to always be yourself, and never break that rule to pander to your audience.

Keep it consistent. If you are consistent with your style and sense of humor on your blog you will develop loyal followers. Think about David Letterman. His shows contain lots of humor that only loyal fans to his show would appreciate. If you watch his shows daily, you start to “tap in” to how his mind works, how he delivers his jokes, and what his inside jokes and references mean. He does this by being consistent and following the first two rules. If you do the same thing, your readers will eventually get used to your style, and will understand you more and more.

Read it out loud. Before you push the Post button you’ll want to read your update out loud. This helps to catch any mistakes in your phrasing, and it also lets you know if you’ve achieved humor or not. If it sounds funny when you hear it spoken, it should translate to a chuckle when your audience reads it.