Wednesday, January 4, 2017


This series is inspired by the "Words From
Unity" public service announcements
that ran on television (particularly in
Kansas City) in the 1970's and 80's.
While trying out for a newsroom job, a potential news director asked me what my news philosophy was. Fortunately, I had prepared myself for that proverbial Big Question with a one-word answer: relevance. Why should I care? Why is this news? What does this mean to my life?

It's a philosophy that has worked; I've gotten job offers with it. But your servant is just one producer, not the news director. So each newscast has at least a sliver of time dedicated to forgettable car crashes. While I don't give a whoop about those things, somebody else does, and you work for your viewers who consistently put "traffic" as one of the top issues they care about in every viewer survey we conduct. "Crime" is high up on the list as well. You get what you ask for, and if you didn't ask for it, the other person did.

Those who feel themselves irrelevant to the relevance question end up leaving the business. A good friend of mine told me, "When you stop caring, it's time to leave." One reporter friend is now an insurance agent, where he feels more relevant than ever helping people plan and protect their lives. The feedback is immediate and not measured in ratings points. Other news friends and colleagues suck it up and go on to the next story, knowing that the sum of the parts is not always quantifiable by a numerical metric. They're thinking about the long game.

What does GOD say to news people when they stand before the throne? It can't be any different than what HE says to anybody else. GOD doesn't rank us by profession, even though HIS subjects do. Think about that the next time you turn up your nose and snort at a news person.

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