The media often catch a bad rap for giving excess attention to all things outrageous. How else do you explain the Kardashians and the current fascination with every utterance of the 2016 presidential candidates?
Blame it on the 24/7 news cycle. Blame it on society’s need to be constantly connected. Blame it on most media companies’ business model to deliver eyeballs to advertisers.
Social media have only accelerated the mass media mentality. As we shake our fists at the television or computer screens, it’s important to keep these things in mind.
This past Thanksgiving, I was thankful The Coastal Star has taken a different approach. By design we circulate a set number of newspapers each month and, because of our frequency, we don’t feel the desire to chase ambulances or celebrities. We focus on providing local news, information and advertising to a select community of readers: the best in Palm Beach County, in my opinion.
We also take the liberty of not reporting on events that we determine are self-serving, defamatory or repugnant. That doesn’t mean we won’t report on sensitive issues or dig deeply into alleged wrongdoing. We will. It just means that personal attacks done in public settings are not necessarily what we consider news.
Sadly, 2015 offered numerous examples of dirty play in our coastal towns.
This December — as holiday stress works its way into our psyches — my hope is we can avoid personal attacks and covert maneuverings to address our coastal concerns in open and fair public forums.
My mother always said, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it.” Imagine how pleasant the holidays could be if we all took this to heart.
— Mary Kate Leming, editor