Tag Archives: news

When We Demand Better by Calvin Davis

Want to hear some pessimistic news? The latest buzz about the bad guys, folks who blackmail, assassinate, murder, con old people, blow themselves up – along with scores of other people – liars, cheats, hedge fund swindlers, Ponzi scheme manipulators, the whole gory gamut? When and where do you hear such stories? The answer is simple: on any network evening news report.

newsman

Anyone who relies solely on the evening news roundup for a picture of the world, and humanity, is someone who will end up with a distorted view of the world and a twisted understanding of people. Then, why so much bad news? Is it true that most of humanity is corrupt? Money hungry liars and cheats? You’ll end up thinking they are if you get a steady diet of network news. So why so much bad news? To answer that question, you have to look at the economics of news gathering and distribution.

Doing both is not a public service, but a business. And in that business, it has long been known that bad news sells.

With this simple fact in mind, one must view evening news with a critical eye, realizing that all of humanity is not the way it is portrayed by the news reports.

My formula for looking at network news is this: remember that for every report about a beheading, a robbery, rape, etc., there are hundreds of altruistic people who perform charitable and benevolent deeds every day, but who will NEVER make the evening newscast – that is, unless they rob a bank or stab a nun in the eye with an icepick. familyExamples: there is a mother in Kansas or Virginia who goes without the fancy coat and food so her son or daughter can remain in college. There is a father in Indiana who postpones the operation his doctor insists he needs so his little girl can have the operation she needs. Neither parent will become “breaking news” reports on CNN or Fox.

In summary, the next time you view the evening news report, don’t say to yourself, “So, this is the way the world is today.” Why not? Because what you have seen is not the way the world is today. However, you can safely say, “This is the way the bad side of the world is today.” In the future perhaps we will, one day, have the evening news cover the good side of the news. When will that be possible? When we, as viewers DEMAND that the good side of the world and mankind be given equal coverage?

When will that day come? It’s up to us, when we demand better.

Calvin Davis is the author of The Phantom Lady of Paris.

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News Flash by Ginger K. King

Weather Map

When a major news story breaks that is similar to or the catalyst for one of your story lines, watch the news with a new perspective.  You can pick up on ways that the news anchors relay the situation and how they describe the sense of urgency, emotion or loss involved.  It can also be great to get ideas from local dialog while listening closely to eye witness accounts.

I have a friend who wrote a particular novel’s peak using some first-hand experiences during a major weather event.  Nothing beats that perspective, but reporting and eye-witness accounts come in next in my opinion.  This can be especially helpful if you are writing about what others, not necessarily your characters think, feel and how they react.  You’ve probably already figured out what your characters think about the situation, but you can add to that with what they think of others opinions.

Handling “news” in our writing by observing the delivery methods of various channels, or our local and national news can make the writing more realistic.  I have been working on a scene that involves winter weather, and I didn’t ask for it, but whoa here it comes.  The forecast I listened to online just now says it is likely we will see weather like we haven’t seen in 25 years.  Now that makes for all kinds of new situations to put these characters in.

Looks like I will be doing a lot of note taking and writing on that subject as I watch the news tonight and tomorrow.  That is if the power stays on!  Yikes

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Sissy Says, Blah, Blah, Blah by J J Dare

My life has become a bit more interesting with a twenty-two month old in it. I’m remembering how new and unencumbered the world looks through a toddler’s eyes.

She’s not worried about the high price of gasoline or news about ongoing terrorist threats or which politician is in trouble now. Her main concern is, well, no concerns. Her biggest problem is the problem of the moment. Hunger, dirty diaper, fatigue – the big three in a toddler’s life (and at the end of life, too, when you think about it).

My granddaughter is a parrot. She will repeat anything she hears. Her mother tries desperately to convince me that she’s saying, “Oh, sit,” or “Sit, sit, sit.” Uh-huh, I tell my daughter, and do you have a bridge to sell me, too?

She’s a sharp little talker and she connects the dots with the people in her life. What does Daddy say? Grrr, grrr, grrr. What does Mommy say? No, no, no. What does Sissy say? Blah, blah, blah.

We’re all like Sissy at times. Writers are the best at saying blah, blah, blah. It’s our calling, our lover, our curse, our life. Writers are the Masters of Blah, and, as a member of the club, I’m pretty darn proud of my ability to Blah.

As adults, we have the weight of a thousand cares laid on our shoulders. It’s easy to let the gravity of life keep our feet rooted to the ground. It’s much harder to let loose of the world’s pull and soar away through our imagination and through a toddler’s eyes.

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

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