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kuozzman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:22 PM
Original message
What was news like before the internet?
I'm only 25, so ever since I've become interested in news, government, world affairs, etc., I've always had the internet to get real-time information that often conflicts with what the media leads us to believe. It seems like, without the internet, a lot more people would be in the dark about a lot of things(and many continue to be). Did the media do a better job before the internet? Or were most people un/misinformed about important things?
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Underground newsletters, publications, mail ordered usually...
also certain clique clubs, bars, and other things. Underground radio was popular, also shortwave, all of these are still around too. Just gotta know where to look. Also the media was less jingoistic and less in the government's pocket back in the '60s and '70s. Before that they were as bad as now though. I'm only 26, and so I never had much personal experience with this, so anyone older can correct me if I'm wrong.
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KeepItReal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. It may have been pretty honest...
That is until Ronald Reagan who threw out the Fairness Doctrinein the '80s...

"The policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission that became known as the "Fairness Doctrine" is an attempt to ensure that all coverage of controversial issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair. The FCC took the view, in 1949, that station licensees were "public trustees," and as such had an obligation to afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view on controversial issues of public importance."
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. I've recently been wondering the same thing
We (I?) assume that this media disinformation campaign is relatively new -- but that wouldn't make any sense. What's new is that we are, via the net, now aware of the truth. Makes me really wonder about the past.

There's much truth in the saying "ignorance is bliss" no?
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. Word of mouth, I guess
I'm trying to figure out how I knew about opposing views pre-internet. I know that I did. I know some of it was just from talking with people. Seems when you're young you're always running into people from all political viewpoints. That tends to fade when you get older, although I don't know where they all went. :shrug:

I guess magazines. Phil Donahue. Yep, Phil Donahue. That's got to be it. Tom Snyder. Programs like that.
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Kensingtonian Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. Well, I'm almost 45.....
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 08:50 PM by Kensingtonian
Back in the seventies and eighties, all you mostly heard were the 'major' stories. Cable started out very small at first, and didn't offer much more than a clearer picture and one or two extra channels.

When I was a kid in the sixties, you got your news from the local paper or from Huntley and Brinkley on the six o'clock news on a black and white television.

In my government class (1978) my teacher told me about this thing called the Congressional Record, which you could subscribe to by mail.

CNN was a watershed moment, which I think debuted in '79 or '80.

That's about the same time that underground artists like Jello Biafra really started to catch my ear. "Kill the Poor" is still a classic.

Once a Dead Kennedys fan, always a Dead Kennedys fan.
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not systems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Lot's of samizdat zines ...
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 08:56 PM by not systems
it was very controlled before CNN arrived.

In CNN's early days they covered things like apartheid in
devastating video footage.

They were nothing like they are today.

Welcome to DU Kensingtonian.

I've been a DK fan for about 22 years.

I always like "Government Flu" and the Reagan version of
"California Uber Alles".
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MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. I think it was like it is now on the internet
I know this is weird, but I was born in 1953, TV was not that widespread, people focused on the party platform, what the candidates
SAID, what their education, experience and voting record was, but with the emergence of TV suddenly the news became a visual thing, good and bad points, but campaigning has become slick 60 second sound bites, with the candidate isolated from real questions and there is an emphasis on LOOKS, (Al Gore saying that he's sexy, but Kerry is not). Now with the internet, there is a lot more emphasis on fact, what people THINK and not on appearance,
we don't have fuzzy warm, talking heads kind of baloney here. So, I think this is a lot more like radio than TV! Thank God!
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. Slow
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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
9. I think the media was more "fair and balanced" and things moved
a bit slower (ha). The internet is fast, but is it accurate? There was more of a tradition of "investigative journalism" and now there seems to be more emphasis on appearance and style. I like to think that reporters brought down Nixon.

As for the day to day, there was a lot of word of mouth, and so-called underground newspapers, but the MSM was still considered somewhat reliable. I like to think that Walter Cronkite had a big part in getting us out of VietNam. I don't see the same media today.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. We set fires on the hilltops to let the empire know Atilla was coming

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bikebloke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
11. Short wave radio
I started listening back in high school (early 70's) and saw a difference then. It has worsened so much since then. I supplemented short wave with the Guardian Weekly and World Press Review. Plus, I travelled and lived abroad which broadened my views (I think there's a bad pun in there)
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
12. This webpage will give you an excellent view of the U. S. media....

Operation Mockingbird
< >


"Starting in the early days of the Cold War (late 40's), the CIA began a secret project called Operation Mockingbird, with the intent of buying influence behind the scenes at major media outlets and putting reporters on the CIA payroll, which has proven to be a stunning ongoing success. The CIA effort to recruit American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda, was headed up by Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, and Philip Graham (publisher of The Washington Post). Wisner had taken Graham under his wing to direct the program code-named Operation Mockingbird and both have presumably committed suicide.

Media assets will eventually include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International (UPI), Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service, etc. and 400 journalists, who have secretly carried out assignments according to documents on file at CIA headquarters, from intelligence-gathering to serving as go-betweens. The CIA had infiltrated the nation's businesses, media, and universities with tens of thousands of on-call operatives by the 1950's. CIA Director Dulles had staffed the CIA almost exclusively with Ivy League graduates, especially from Yale with figures like George Herbert Walker Bush from the "Skull and Crossbones" Society.

Many Americans still insist or persist in believing that we have a free press, while getting most of their news from state-controlled television, under the misconception that reporters are meant to serve the public. Reporters are paid employees and serve the media owners, who usually cower when challenged by advertisers or major government figures. Robert Parry reported the first breaking stories about Iran-Contra for Associated Press that were largely ignored by the press and congress, then moving to Newsweek he witnessed a retraction of a true story for political reasons. In 'Fooling America: A Talk by Robert Parry' he said, "The people who succeeded and did well were those who didn't stand up, who didn't write the big stories, who looked the other way when history was happening in front of them, and went along either consciously or just by cowardice with the deception of the American people."

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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
13. Well, there was a fairness doctrine
And those of us oldsters can recall citizens getting airtime on network
news to dispute and present alternate points of view. Sometimes it
seemed odd, as those people were clearly less adept at professional
newsreading (being on camera), but there as well was the breath of air
from the population speaking up in dissent.

So before the internet, mainstream news used to be wiser... with very
little overlap... as the fairness thing was abolished in the late 80's
and the internet has been available for public use with news since
pretty much 1990... granted, not many people knew how to use the usenet
use groups.... but it was there... per your question.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
14. The BBC.
Only the BBC. Nothing but the BBC. Every day, all day.
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Red State Blues Donating Member (229 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
15. Things were different.
People have pointed out the demise of the fairness doctrine, while it wasn't perfect, it wouldn't have allowed the swift boat nonsense.

What I see as a big difference was a lack in the skill of the manipulation of the media as compared to now. The "two sides" weren't so quick to coalesce on their opinions so I seem to remember where there was a time when there was actually a news cycle where more than two views of an issue would be presented. Things just slipped through sometimes because people weren't media savvy enough to know to stop it. It also seemed like the local media wasn't complete shit but maybe that's the rose colored glasses of youth talking.
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OxQQme Donating Member (694 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Mom n Dad would drop Sis n I
off at the Saturday movie matinees back in the early 50's. We saw cartoons, Flash Gordon episodes, Roy Rogers and/or Gene Autry cowboys n Indains, and World News. Black and white movies of fighter planes in combat, and stafing runs dropping blankets of bombs and 'japs' being blown up.
Atom bomb alerts in the schools. The whole of the student body being subjected to a special screening in the auditorium of what 'THE BOMB' looked like blowing away a whole city.
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Tace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 03:09 AM
Response to Original message
17. The Vietnam Conflict Was Piped Directly Into Living rooms
The evening news would have incredible battlefield footage. I remember being maybe 12 years old, footage with sound shot from the inside of a helicopter that landed in the middle of a battle to pick up soldiers, many of whom had sustained grievous wounds, their fellow soldiers dragging them to the helicopter and pushing them in while bullets were flying in hitting soldiers in the copter, taking down the guys trying to drag soldiers toward the copter, grenades were exploding, bombs were falling from the sky, Viet Cong were dashing around shooting. It was sheer panic. The camera was jerking around. I'll never forget that stuff for as long as I live.

Now we have wars that nobody has to see. "Why should I waste my beautiful mind?"

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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 03:22 AM
Response to Original message
18. well
we had morning papers and afternoon papers - in most cities, a variety of them. We had morning news programs, the 6:00 o'clock news and the 11:00 o'clock news. Networks broke in with special reports when something big happened.

Then of course, radio had news updates regularly.
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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 03:34 AM
Response to Original message
19. All you had was the "Big Three" networks 30 minutes apiece... the evenings, newspapers daily, and the major magazines weekly. Plus whatever was cooking on late night AM radio, which was much, much, much more neutral back then and almost exclusively given over to "straight news" programs, as opposed to blowhards broadcasting their opinions in rants. This is the seventies/early eighties I'm talking about.
It truly was a different world - one I can scarcely imagine ever existed, until prompted to remember by an honest, excellent question such as yours.
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