Letters to the Editor

We're not getting what we need from most media

Having just returned from Europe, where my contact with world events depended on TV and newspapers, I was impressed by the way local and international news was reported. Time was taken to examine the news and to present facts and counter-facts, not simply opinions.

We Americans seem to have developed into non-readers with very short attention spans, becoming more and more dependent on the TV screen, which delivers little more than sound bites. News of national importance is usually under-reported, while such items as the wedding of Prince William or the death of Michael Jackson seem to dominate the headlines for weeks (in the case of Jackson, months).

Newspapers -- a medium that can and often does present something of a full story, no matter what the subject might be -- are losing ground every year. News presented on TV is not about what happened; it's usually what someone thinks should be reported, all with five commercials to fit in at the same time.

In short, TV news is at best inexpensive entertainment and seldom worthy of the title "news program." Radio is not much better, a few minutes of a national or international story, then back to the entertainment slots and of course the commercial telling you why you should use "Brand X."

We are sadly served by our information media, but even worse when a majority of people solely rely on this type of reporting to base opinion and judgment.

Geoff Wheatley

Hilton Head Island