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Looking for a New Narrative

By Readers · April 1st, 2009 · Letters

Looking for a New Narrative

In his editorial “Bad News and the Media” (issue of March 18), John Fox wrote about a frustration my wife and I have experienced since moving to the city almost two years ago: a lack of positive news from local media.

Where we used to live, watching the news was part of our morning ritual before work. We could relax on the couch with our coffee, get the weather forecast and traffic report as well as positive news, community info and humor mixed in with the typical, more sen sational “bad news.”

It’s been tough to find much positive news on the morning broadcasts in Cincinnati, and about two weeks ago we decided to turn off the TV altogether in the morning. We tried different stations but simply got tired of hearing one piece of bad news after another. From house fires (or a fire in a Chinese restaurant in a strip mall I live 20 miles from) to murders to a newscaster standing outside a darkened courthouse at 6 a.m. to talk about a trial that might or might not happen that day, we realized that it’s not the way we want to start our day.

We’re also not interested in seeing a YouTube video on the news, especially when it’s looped over and over again. Adding insult to annoyance is when a broadcast takes all the crap they’ve covered repeatedly in the last half hour, packages it up one last time with a name like “Morning Power Block!” and tells me it’s “all the news you need to get you out the door!” I won’t even start in about the absurd competition between local meteorologists and their Super Awesome Doppler Radar systems.

It’s easy enough to get the information we really need, like weather and traffic, on the Internet and without all the hype. I used to read a newspaper every morning and initially intended to get a full subscription to The Enquirer. For the same reasons as mentioned above, though, I hardly miss it and will not be getting a subscription any time soon.

As Peter Block asserts in the editorial, it would be wonderful to see local media use their resources to construct a more positive narrative of this great city. Until then, I won’t be in the “audience.”  — Trevor Hess, Anderson Twp.

I Also Prefer Fewer Labels

I would like to commend Doug Taylor on his comments in the Living Out Loud column “Don’t Blame the Man” (issue of March 18). His comment about news reports possibly identifying a person not by race but as a high school or college graduate was truly refreshing. I’m a student at NKU, and I try to view people around me not by their outward appearance but by their actions in the community around them.

Taking responsibility for our own actions every day means actually doing what you can to positively assist yourself and others. This ideology is what this country needs to focus on after we correct the economic downturn.

If our society could slowly modify the labels given due to outward appearances, we’d be well on our way to becoming able to stop individual assumptions that every downturn in life must hinge on our color, gender, religion or life preferences.  — Leah Sears, Sparta, Ky.

Being Conservative, Being Smart

So let me tell Doug Taylor what he just told me: You saw a news story that reported that black folks were being disproportion ately impacted by the recession, and then you said that the recession is affecting everyone the same. I’m sorry if the news is inconvenient, but if you’re going to assert such a contradictory claim you’ll have to offer some evidence. Anecdotally sharing that you know of some employed black people falls pretty short.

Look, a column is allowed to be an exercise in opinion, but there are rules: You have to acknowledge the parts that are just about your feelings. In this essay, Taylor has ultimately revealed that talking about race is a black/white issue in his mind, talking about race makes him uncomfortable and defensive, personal responsibility is his favorite salvation and just maybe he has black people’s blood in him, which suggests we are all maybe the same — which would have been so much more interesting to read if it hadn’t all been so infuriatingly coded.

Instead, it’s a trite and disappointing white-knuckled grip on status quo that doesn’t seem sophisticated enough for CityBeat. Be conservative if you want, but at least be smart about it. — janewheniordercoffee (comment posted at citybeat.com in response to Living Out Loud column “Don’t Blame the Man,” issue of March 18)



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