A Question of Worth

My father taught me that a person’s worth as an employee or consultant was based on how irreplaceable they were to whoever paid for their service. If no one could do what you do as well as you do it, you had worth and a dollar value was placed on that worth.

Doctors invest in their training, spend long hours at work, and continue their education year after year to stay abreast of technology and pharmaceuticals; they have worth. Marketers who understand your product and design marketing strategy to inform the audience and garner purchasers bring wealth to the manufacturer; they have worth.

Now come to the traditional media, who seem immune to the idea. In depth training? Ongoing education? Staying in touch with the world around us? We are presented with pretty faces who mouth words in 30 second sound bites, not knowing what questions to ask, not understanding the implications of the answers, leaving us cold and in the dark.

Without a deep repertoire of history to draw on, without a broad understanding of world events and their drivers, without the ability to contemplate the threads between events in time and space, of what value are they to the listener, the viewer, the reader? We know no more at the end of the news than at the beginning, perhaps less, as facts are muddled and implausible inferences drawn.

I charge the media with dereliction of duty, for not having the wherewithal to understand the news, unable to challenge those interviewed, unable to put into context a question, let alone an answer nor comment on its implications. This is above and beyond the rampant ideological pollution and political spin of the news.

Yet, we thirst for news and commentary, we must have it. So, where do we turn? You are here, you are on a thousand websites with tens of thousands of reporters and commentators.

You have information needs and limited time: you decide what is worthy.

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