Sunday, November 29, 2015
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In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?

“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.

Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders. 

“Hard News” Faces Hard Times

View Point

Online opinions replace paper facts

By James N. Watkins

For fifteen years I wrote for a newspaper. The kind you can use to housebreak puppies, make papier-mâché art projects and wrap dishes for moving. But daily “paper” papers have dropped from a high of nearly 1,800 in 1945 to about 400 today. Circulation per capita has dropped below 15 percent.

I haven’t subscribed to a print paper for nearly twenty years. Teddy is gone, no more school-aged children and the next time I move, I want to go feet first.

The online news aggregate site, Drudge Report, made journalism history when in 1996 it was the first news source to break then-president Bill Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Newsweek initially declined to run the story. Since then, Drudge Report has gained a loyal following of 2 million unique visitors per day beating out USA Today with 1.7 million subscribers and The New York Times which has less than 1.4 million subscribers.

Digital dinosaurs face extinction

The prehistoric crocodile managed to survive the extinction of the massive dinosaurs by becoming smaller and more agile. In the same way, the print brontosauruses require large staffs, massive presses and an army of people delivering the news to your door step once a day.

Matt Drudge, with his computer and website, is the agile crocodile with no reporters (virtually all content is links from other news sites), no designers (the simple—crude—design hasn’t changed in years) and a staff of three, including himself. Business Insider estimates that Drudge, as sole owner, makes between 15 and 20 million dollars a year from advertising.

It’s hard for paper newspapers to compete when it arrives at your doorstep—or more likely in your bushes—once a day, while major online news sites offer live streaming of news events to your handheld device. Even Drudge can be slow in Internet terms compared to Twitter and Facebook.

Hard news faces extinction

The Brookings Institution warns, “While the Internet world has made it possible for everyone to express their opinion widely—whether they know anything or not—it has also confused readers. In the absence of supposedly neutral intermediaries such as reporters, fact-checkers, and editors, readers are having a hard time judging the credibility of what they read.”

If that’s not enough to make you lose your breakfast all over your keyboard, Nick Denton, the managing editor of, confirms Brookings greatest fears: “I think it’s implicit in the way that a website is produced that our standards of accuracy are lower. Besides, immediacy is more important than accuracy, and humor is more important than accuracy.”

Surviving the digital news age

So, how do you sort out the news from the views? How can you find the “hard” truth?

So . . .

Jim was been a journalist since his high school newspaper days. He writes for fewer and fewer  paper publications and more and more for online sites.

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