Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Stuff Boomers Grew Up With


My family's weekend rituals during my pre-teen years included Saturday morning grocery shopping, afternoon lawn care, dinner and some television watching. Sunday started with church, then a tasty breakfast from a neighborhood bakery, reading the Sunday newspaper, a Sunday drive in the city or country or a visit to a grandparent's house. The weekend often ended with a dinner of leftovers, followed by a card game, scrabble or some family tv watching (Bonanza, Ed Sullivan).

Reading a recent Sunday newspaper is what triggered this nostalgic journey, specifically the now 8-page Parade Magazine. Wasn't that section at least three or four times bigger, more like a real magazine?

Many cities, including my hometown New Orleans, had two daily newspapers, one published in the morning and another in the afternoon. My parents subscribed to both and my stay-at-home mother often had time to read each one cover to cover.

In some circles a daily newspaper still means something, but there are hundreds, maybe thousands of other news sources, so the average American doesn't read a daily newspaper any more. I bet many of those that do, read it online and not on paper.

I still like the printed version of a newspaper, but we only get it on Sunday in my home and much of it ends the weekend unread and in the recycle bin.

There is much debate these days about journalistic integrity or lack thereof. People whine about the 'mainstream media' and their biases yet I question the objectivity of the 'fringe media'. The point is that it is hard to tell what is honest, unbiased news and what isn't.

The television networks of my youth seemed to have high journalistic standards and went out of their way to separate facts from opinions. Today's news sources, be it television, print or online, seem to wear their biases with pride.

This post is basically an open-ended observation. I don't have a particularly specific point to make, other than to tell you I miss some of the rituals I grew up with. Honest news reporting is sort of one of those things.

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