Getting through the information jungle

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, June 11, 2009

There is a thin line between entertainment and education. More than likely, when you turn on the TV or open a book or newspaper, you do it for two reasons — to relax and entertain yourself. But we also have a certain responsibility to educate ourselves about current events, things that relate to our careers, and even “useless” knowledge. I use the quotation marks because all knowledge is useful to some degree.

I envy people who can watch the news and be entertained. I get most of my world and national news from newsweeklies, and what state news I get comes from glances at other daily newspapers in Alabama.

But, for some reason, reading the news is something I have to force myself to do, unless it’s in the “weird” category. I get bored very quickly, and because of this my knowledge of current events is probably not what it should be.

One of the best things a journalist can do is place himself or herself in the reader’s shoes. Would I read all of my stories? Of course not. Sometimes this has to do with how a story affects the reader. A Clanton reader would not be that interested in a story about Jemison’s sidewalk project, for example. But that story would still be important for us to cover.

Perhaps the most difficult objective we have is making sure there’s something in the newspaper for everybody. There are a few people who read it back to front, but then there’s the Sudoku addict and the local sports nut.

There’s a jungle of information out there. I try to take in the journalism, art and entertainment that benefits me the most.

Hopefully, we can provide a local perspective on things that are important to you. Feel free to contact me with your ideas.