It’s difficult to know how many people trust their local newspaper, but recently I had the pleasure of talking to just such a person.
As it turns out, a lot of people believe in the credibility of news stories and advertisements in the Free Press, which gives me pause for a few thoughts.
Before television and radio, newspapers were having a heyday as the only game in town. But once consumers started reading less and watching more, that all changed. In order to level the playing field, some publishers, unfortunately, attempted to sway the opinions of readers by showcasing articles with outrageous headlines and fraudulent sources. This tactic worked and drove newspaper sales up.
The success of that strategy is making a comeback and some less-than-reputable publications are capitalizing on it.
Some of these media outlets are hoping we don’t have time to question the accuracy of what we are reading, and we will make “snap” judgments about subjects based on little information.
In order to prevent us from falling into this trap, avoid blatant falsehoods masquerading as news reporting.
There is a place in all newspapers for opinions and this is the page for it. —PD