Support Quality Journalism. Now.

Ladies, gentlemen, and friends outside the binary, we’ve reached a tipping point in our relationship with the media. Journalism has finally reached that critical mass required for real change.

I could sit here and dissect why this has happened, but frankly, it’s better left to others and we don’t have time for that. We’re in a crisis and the only thing that can fix it is cash money and your eyeballs.

We, the consumer, MUST change our media consumption habits. Now.

We, the consumer, MUST demand better reporting and reject clickbait, entertainment gussied up as news, and opinions dressed up as reporting. Now.

We are the ones with the control.

The dirty secret is that all that bullshit that’s being touted about as journalism doesn’t exist if we’re not there to consume it. We need to stop looking at trash. Now.

Our president has been very vocal about his dislike for the media, as I’m sure many of your friends and relatives have been. So. If you don’t like it, how can we change it? Talk does nothing. You’re going to have to put your money where your mouth is.

Journalism requires money. Quality journalism requires more. There’s a reason why reality shows are so prolific. They’re cheap to produce and inherently lack developed content. Journalism has gone the same way. The institutions that haven’t died off yet have had to change to meet our expectations so they can scrape together what little cash they can and keep their doors open. We cannot expect good journalism for free.

I’m not saying the media is faultless, not by a long shot, but again. We are the source of the revenue. The reason this milquetoast, underdeveloped, bullshit thrives is because we’re literally paying for it. We click and say, “Yes, this is adequate.” We keep coming back for more of the same.

On the other hand, the answer is not to get disgusted and throw up our hands, either. We need to find the good reporting that exists and support that. A rising tide lifts all boats. We need to demand quality by rewarding quality. Now.

How do we do that?

  • You’re going to need to read. Find news sources that are doing the work. If you’re not sure, find articles that have been shared with you and go beyond the headline on your Facebook wall. Dive in. See what that organization has to offer. Read.
  • Turn off AdBlock. If you’re blocking ads, you’re blocking revenue. Support good reporting with your eyeballs.
  • Read the article on the website of the people who reported it originally. Aggregators websites do not create content. They just steal and regurgitate it. This means you will need to follow your news organizations directly, visit their site, their app, their Facebook page… Otherwise, they do not get the ad revenue. Someone else who stole from them does.
  • Subscribe. Do they have a print edition? Sign up. Do they have a digital subscription? Even better. Less dead trees, more money to support good reporting. USE YOUR MONEY. VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS. YES, I AM YELLING.
  • Ignore nonsense. Shit is too real for you to care about what quick trick is going to trim inches off your waist, which celeb was caught red handed, 13 times a pizza was the realest, or what tattoo you should get based on your name and the street you grew up on. This is not news.

 

We, the consumers, need to take an active role to control the future of journalism. Blame is bullshit and counterproductive. We need to change. Now.

It starts with you. It ends with you. Do it. Now.

It’s Casual Friday’s 1st Blogaversary!

Tomorrow, May 30th, marks one year since I decided Fridays were for stories. One year since I made the commitment that every Friday I would post something – anything – creative. Crafted with my words, from my hands, and delivered to you on Fridays.

I’ve loved this.

It has been challenging and rewarding. The first challenge was (and still is) trying to explain what the hell this thing is. I’ve tried to describe it a few different ways:

  • “I try to tell stories every Friday.” But then it wasn’t just stories.
  • “I share a written piece on Friday.” But then I wasn’t just sharing my writing.
  • “It’s a lifestyle blog?” Not really.
  • “It’s a living resume for my creativity.” Oh, cool, let’s sound a little pretentious.
  • “It’s my creative outlet to share with the world.” Ugh, this keeps getting worse.

It’s hard! I’m all over the place content-wise. To try to explain what ends up here is difficult because it’s stories and topics that I feel are new (or that at least my take on them is). I share when I feel something. Things catch my attention because they’re unique. Something stands out and I want to talk about it. I’m kind of doing my own thing and people have always seemed to be interested in that. I’m different and that’s okay.

I guess this is a celebration of that different perspective. …which is closer to the truth, but still doesn’t hit it on the head yet.

I have business cards I made up for the blog. They’re kind of cute.

businesscards

I think this is it. The website is like my introduction to you. …That coupled with a feeling I’ve had since I’ve started:

“Hi, my name is Lauren. I don’t know what this is, but I’m proud of it.”