Presuming you do not read it, because most people no longer read, where do you get your news when you travel?
One of the biggest inconveniences I experience when I travel is attempting to get, not unbiased, but equally biased, televised political-oriented news coverage. The majority of basic cable offerings, which is what most hotels offer, do not include MSNBC in their channel line-up. I have as yet to find a basic cable line-up that does not include FOX.
I like to tune in to Rachel Maddow’s evening news show if it is at all possible. I was quite shocked when I checked in to the Sheraton Towers Chicago, the conference hotel for #BlogHer13, and was limited to Fox and CNN products for news coverage while there. Some people say CNN is liberal, but as a person on the left side of the political spectrum, I assure you that I am often offended by the bias inherent in most of CNN’s coverage of a “mainstream view” that mimics the purported middle ground that is a moderate conservative viewpoint.
I equate the lack of news data from across the political spectrum with the lack of access to unprocessed, unpackaged, food stuffs which are known as food deserts. Unfortunately the term “news desert” has come to narrowly apply to the lack of local news. I believe a better definition of news desert is a place where there is a lack of easy access to a whole data, or data from all types of sources.
There are food deserts where the only access to groceries within an easily reachable distance on foot or by public transportation is from a food “mart” where a produce section, if you are very lucky, will be a refrigerated case with plastic-wrapped salad in a plastic container that has an expiration date stamped on the label, so a shopper can tell if it has been on the shelf for more than 5 days.
Unequal access to any basic component of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” disturbs me. Nutritious food and basic information are two of the most important building blocks of democracy. Full bellies and access to the information you need to make sound decisions are essential to maintaining a democracy and working toward equality.
If the upper economic slice of the population does not have access to a full complement of news information when traveling, that means that all the people with that same basic cable service that the hotel provides do not have access to anything but
So what am I doing about this? Just bitching? Nope, I am sending a copy of this article to the Sheraton where I stayed. It will be interesting to see what sort of a reply I receive, if I receive one. I will let you know.
But in the meantime I would like to know, do you have access to full spectrum news through TV ?
‘Atta Girl…you tell them! Frankly, I watch very little TV anything. I’m not too surprised with the lack of “full” news coverage as Chicago is in the Midwest, however it IS Chicago! You can’t find too many cities any more diverse in the MIdwest! Such ironies! For me, I listen to NPR and read the HuffPost headlines.
Nancy Hill says
I worry about friends in the Midwest who don’t know to look for broader spectrum news. “Errors” of omission are the most difficult to detect. I am not worried about you m’dear being duped.
wait. You were there? At BlogHer13 and we didn’t meet up?
Nancy Hill says
How the heck did we miss each other????
Yes, that would tick me off.
I am beginning to be less passive when I go somewhere and the TV’s are all set to Fox, asking them to please change the channel to something, anything, less offensive. People will assume that’s all fine and dandy with us, if we don’t speak up and say otherwise.
Nancy Hill says
Letting our voices be heard is good exercise… for our voices and our constitution. Like you I have no tolerance for Fox programming as a “neutral” background.