I have been gathering and presenting radio news to prairie Canadians for 47 years. As I continue in my 71st year on this planet, I have to confess that my chosen profession has taken a toll.
Years ago I did not give a great deal of thought to the impact that my news might have on those who were listening. One of the accepted mantras in the news business has been “If it bleeds it leads”, and not much has changed in 2017. We are still mostly in the “bad news” business.
When it comes to television, I’m encountering more and more people who simply don’t watch, or they switch to another of the hundreds of choices that are now available in the digital world. Quite frankly, I don’t blame them.
Mindful of what I have just said, I confess that I am much more selective when it comes to choosing stories to include in my little daily package – the Pyjama News – that’s heard on CJNU in Winnipeg. Newscasts that I might have prepared 40 years ago frequently sounded a lot like the Police Blotter.
The details of violent crime, traffic crashes and spectacular fires are available from many different sources, but unless there’s some compelling reason to carry such news, you will hear it a lot less often from yours truly in 2017. Why? Because the news that dominates the airwaves and live streaming in North America is upsetting enough. The tragic death of a 32 year old woman in Virginia who wanted to be heard in the fight against racism, is a story that must be told, but it’s not easy.
It’s not easy to fathom the hatred that drives such events, and the political leadership that is totally lacking, especially at the White House.
These are not happy times.
Take care everyone, and enjoy the rest of the summer.
I’m Roger Currie