On the Level #4. “What’s the News?”

On the Level #4. “What’s the News?”

I, too, along with an army of other schoolboys, delivered newspapers off the back of my bicycle. It was serious business for some of the customers on my paper-route. Some stood at their gates, and others sat by their windows waiting for their paperboy to arrive. Being one of those who has only ever read newspapers out of duty, it wasn’t until recently that it dawned on me that I was bringing to these households a 1970s version of the internet; every column was searched, scrutinised, or dismissed.

It took a trip to a foreign country to help me see that much of our “News” was laced with opinion. I had been used to news being presented as unquestionable. But there in that foreign land I witnessed newsreaders openly and unapologetically question “serious” news. I never saw news the same again.

Older generations assure me that things have changed from their day. Maybe so, but the case of Frederick Greenwood challenges that. The story goes that Frederick Greenwood, a newspaper journalist and editor from the early twentieth century, was sent a complimentary copy of a newspaper called, “The News of the World.” This was his response to the copy he received:

“I looked at it and then I put it in the wastepaper basket,” said Greenwood, “and then I thought, ‘If I leave it there the cook may read it,’ so I burned it.”

Though there have always been those who have striven to maintain journalistic integrity, “News” has always been used and abused by those with their own agendas (to state the obvious).

Christians must be ever vigilant when processing the News of the day. It concerns me when I hear my brethren repeat the worldly convictions of those who have no regard for Jesus and his church. Discernment is the order of the day!

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;

Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;

Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes

And clever in their own sight!”

(Isaiah 5:20-21).

John Staiger


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