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'The Press Is Part of the Problem'

November 22, 1990

I have always liked politics, but I have never become so involved in any campaign before. This year, I was enlisted as volunteer press secretary in a challenger's campaign, and since I believed it would be a better district if I volunteered to help him unseat a right-wing incumbent, I put all (my) knowledge and skill, and a lot of money, to that task. Nothing was too much to get him elected.

Before Reagan's revolution, the press was still disseminating news to the people as the Fourth Estate has agreed to do from the beginning of this country. Today, I don't see that the large metropolitan press is interested enough in either the people or how this country is governed. For the most part, the large metropolitan print press are of the fat cats who perpetuate incumbents' status by not giving challengers space or time. By no means is the print press the only culprit. Most radio and television are in the same class. The big buck is the king of this country now, and the "people" are the ones who pay.

Elections and government are the yearly fodder of the media if they are combative enough. The people don't hear about what is really going on in this country in the suburbs or the rural areas because the large metropolitan print press doesn't think it's newsworthy--even to the extent of who happens to be running for election and what their records might be, unless it is determined to be a "truly winnable election" by all the so-called professional pundits who specialize in political rhetoric. That is what I found was the fact in the 22nd Congressional District election.

This experience was a valuable lesson, in that it taught me that no matter what the cause, no matter what the question, if the press wasn't interested or somehow enticed with what they call news, it would not be in our large metropolitan newspapers, even though it was information the people should be informed about.

Since the Great Communicator (Reagan), the press has become part of the problem of no news is good news, until the scandal or misdeed is swept under the rug, and the people (the middle and poor people) have to pay to bail out the country.

P. JOANNE PETERS

Arcadia

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