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Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009, at 2:46 PM

What positive steps means do you think the media could take to help in this time of economic problems?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Report on the positive for a change. The media induced this recession.

-- Posted by parkerbrothers on Sat, Jan 24, 2009, at 3:07 PM

For the first time in history the media has had the enabling help of the "day of immediate information" to produce a global economic recession.

-- Posted by parkerbrothers on Sat, Jan 24, 2009, at 3:10 PM

Quit being so darn negitive. There are some good things happening too.

We know things are bad already, every time we go to the grocery store we can see that!

Give us some hope.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Sat, Jan 24, 2009, at 4:44 PM

Be fair and unbiased, which is supposed to be their role. But that is very likely not going to happen. They've gradually gotten worse and worse. For example, they (most of the media) blamed Bush for every possible problem in this country. Sure, he was part of the problem with the economic downturn, but not even close to all of the problem. What about Barney Frank and many leading democrats? Their reporting was severely biased towards blaming Republicans and not saying a word about the Democrats. In other words, it would do wonders for this country for the liberal media to become independent once again and report fairly and non-partisan, but I'm afraid too many big wigs have political agendas now and that's why it's gotten so unfair.

-- Posted by DoubleJ on Sat, Jan 24, 2009, at 5:02 PM

If they could just please quit telling me just how broke I am!!! lol Where are the stories about regular people doing good things for their friends and neighbors? What happened to the stories about school children sending cards of inspiration to our troops? Yes. I would like a feel good story on occasion.

-- Posted by bcpwoman on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 6:00 AM


Not just recently, but even for the last 3 years I have said it would be good to have a regulating body that required the media to balance (50/50) the good with the bad at a minimum.

I know the bad news sells more papers than the good news but if a balance had been instituted the media might not have been able to induce the economy into a recession and more people would have had more discetionary income to spend with the Times Gazette and other media sources.

Maybe the editors themselves can institute a minimum 50/50 balance without the need of being legislatively instructed to see the effects.

-- Posted by parkerbrothers on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 7:25 AM

Publishers and Editors can certainly influence what articles are included or excluded. If I owned a paper and had a 'known' political leaning it would be natural for more articles to be submitted, even if I did not demand it.

Then, each reporter is human and has her/his leanings, so the another flavoring of the news could occur. Story writers also have a tendency to embellish a story, if it does not appear to have enough punch on its' own.

So, when I write that John Doe fell down and broke his hip. I look to explain or describe more Maybe he had just taken some prescription cough medicine, or tripped over a cat, but there are a lot of cats in the neighborhood running free. Those cats would not be there if the grass in the neighboring yard was not so tall, resulting in wild animals that come to the neighbors trash bin, which also attracts mice and rats.

Now I have a nice little story going that is more interesting, BUT when it is bad news (like the economy) that news has a way of affecting our emotional and physical well being, so "just the facts please".

I believe small town papers abide by a certain code, maybe unspoken, but many do into include all the gory facts of accidents or deaths. Yes, it is news, but it directly affects families and they don't drag it out or embellish it.

Maybe the mainstream media does not realize what their doomsday chorus is doing. Maybe the one writer, the one editor thinks their story will not influence the well being of our world. But enough stories, with the same tune and same basic words makes a chorus, and it DOES HAVE AN AFFECT.

I know, I got on a rant. My Mom-in-Law just came in and broke the my train of thought, so luckily I can stop. Thanks Mom.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 10:04 AM

I have noticed and probably you guys have also, if you watch the stock market; that the media is recently having an effect on the market. If you haven't noticed just watch for a while. Media reports jobs loss, stocks drop wildly; Media reports the possibility of money coming to Wall Street the stocks raise wildly: Media reports slumping home sales Stocks drop wildly again. The question is: Was these numbers any different than they were the day before or are they only scaring investors? I know our spending habits effect the stock market but if the media didn't report such doom and gloom the markets wouldn't react so wildly.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 10:32 AM


Purchasing is nothing more than an exercise of consumer confidence. Consumer confidence in these days and times is directly attached to the media.

I like your keen observations of how instantaneously the Market reacts to the News provided by the Media.

The electonic herd has emerged.

-- Posted by parkerbrothers on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 11:14 AM

Would that be a version of inside trading? With day-trading, a market reporter could sell their stock before the news hits the web and buy before good news comes out.


-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 12:24 PM

I have had similar thoughts about the view of it.

-- Posted by parkerbrothers on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 2:11 PM

the media always seems to be a convenient whipping boy, when it comes to bad news. but numerous examples exist that would contradict the belief that the media controls the outcome of events:

take, for example, the old soviet union. a decade of unfailingly optomistic reporting did not bring them victory in afghanistan. nor did the absence of negative stories in the media prevent their economy collapsing, and bringing the whole government down with it.

contrary to what we might like to think, in a free society the media does not tell its audience what to think. the audience tells the media what to say. media is a commercial enterprise first and foremost, and if they fail to deliver the message the audience wants to receive, they will cease to exist.

in a situation such as currently exists, where most people are watching their retirement savings disappear, and even those who retain their jobs are seeing those around them join the unemployed, media reporting that denied reality would only serve to destroy the media's credibility. back to the old soviet union, where the government did control the message (as was suggested earlier in this thread), ultimately no one believed what was reported.

-- Posted by lazarus on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 2:13 PM


I do not think the media needs to quit reporting the bad. I just think they should be responsible and seek out good positive stories also.

I am not suggesting any less reporting, actually more of it.

Nothing wrong with reporting on the plane crash.

But what is wrong with an equal amount of time being spent reporting on air traffic being the safest mode of travel available?

-- Posted by parkerbrothers on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 2:28 PM

We need to let the media know we recognize and appreciate their reporting the truth.

I remember two horse trainers who were close but in constant competition with one another.

One day,they wound up being the only entries in a class.

When the trainer who came in second was asked how he did at that show,he replied "I was Reserve Champion."

When asked if the other trainer had exhibited in the same class,he said :"Yep. He came in next to last."

So,it's not just choosing the news but choosing how it's reported.

You can give folks the slant you want them to have or tell them what they want to hear or you can give them unvarnished facts the best way you know how,label opinion as opinion or editorial and let the devil take the hindmost.

My prejudiced opinion is that our paper does a pretty good job of getting the facts out and being objective.

It strives for transparency and gives people with opposing views plenty of chances to get their perspectives out there.

If someone were to give too negative,too cynical,too vicious or too air-brushed and sugar-coated an account of the facts,I doubt it would ever leave the newsroom.

It would not survive scrutiny by the readers.

Yes,we have to be careful that prejudices don't slip in but the truth has a better chance when the media personnel respect their craft,respect their audience and those readers,listeners and viewers are grateful enough for that respect to appreciate being given authentic information.

It would be easier (and,perhaps,more profitable) if the audience were written off as gullible children to be fed upon by advertisers.

The media are true to their calling when they give us what we need to know rather than what we want to see and hear.

We may not always like the truth or the way they package it but if they don't place it in our hands,we have no opportunity to change reality for the better.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 7:47 AM

I didn't read all the posts...

Make bargain finding reports a top priority, so what if it is advertising? Better yet, give the job to someone like the Tennessean does with Ms. Cheap. Things like: Reminders that the 1st Sat is 1/2 price at Goodwill and the Kroger will double coupons. Some weeks Kroger has a 10 for 10 super deal, and let people know when clearance merchandise has been put out at Wal-Mart. Give tips on buying in bulk and ways to store it and tips on how to save money. We don't have a Publix, but they will fill certain antibiotic prescriptions for FREE.

Find out things like: What hairstylists offer cheap haircuts, but still do a great job? When is the best time to go to the Post Office so I don't waste time standing in line for 1/2 an hour? Is there anyone doing a consignment sale for Bedford Co. school dress code clothes? What car dealer will give you a deal AND stand behind it? Who does taxes on the cheap? Did you know the car wash place beside Kroger has free vacuuming, even with the super cheap wash? What intersection in town is the most prone to accidents? (So I can avoid it and save on my car insurance!)

I'd love the job for a weekly column, but I work 12 hours at least 3 days a week and don't have time to bargain hunt. I could really use a column like that so I can do my shopping and know I am getting a great deal. A way to get people to send ideas would be a Tip-of-the-Week and the T-G could give a $10 gift certificate for, say, gas or groceries for the best tip or a business could sponsor the space and give the gift.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 8:33 AM

I don't think the media can be blamed for the problems caused by the way greedy or dishonest people take advantage of the system.

Anyone that thinks what the media is reporting right now is just negative reporting has their head in the sand. Look around. People are losing jobs by the hundreds all around us. The media only reports they don't create.

I noticed that someone had to take this opportunity to defend the Bush administration. Don't be naive. Facts are facts. The previous administrations answer to a slowing economy was denial.

I'm just a truck driver with a high school education but even I could see this coming. Many times, over the past two years, I stood in front of my TV wondering how the President of the United States could say we are not in a recession.

This economy is not something that just happened in the past few months. What we have seen in the past few months are merely the effects of an ecomony that has been sliding south for a long time.

As our elected officials continued to tell us that everything was alright, too many of us even though they were stuggling to make mortgage payments, car payments and buy groceries chose to believe it.

The American people were sucker punched again by Washington.

Don't blame the media.

-- Posted by goose2008 on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 4:10 PM


-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 10:56 PM

I noticed that someone had to take this opportunity to defend the Bush administration. Don't be naive. Facts are facts. The previous administrations answer to a slowing economy was denial.

-- Posted by goose2008 on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 4:10 PM

For example, they (most of the media) blamed Bush for every possible problem in this country. Sure, he was part of the problem with the economic downturn, but not even close to all of the problem. What about Barney Frank and many leading democrats?

-- Posted by DoubleJ on Sat, Jan 24, 2009, at 5:02 PM

Facts are facts. I don't think this is defense as much as it is saying share the blame. Surely there is enough to go around.

-- Posted by devan on Tue, Jan 27, 2009, at 12:06 PM

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-- Posted by whoisrandy on Mon, Feb 16, 2009, at 10:32 AM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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