We had a family room and a living room in my childhood 🏠home. The family room was cozy with plump couches, a table for meals, and the big 📺TV. The living room was larger. It had velvet chairs and a sofa covered in stiff tapestry. A big bay window brought in plenty of light, and an attached formal 🍽dining room was used for holiday gatherings. We rarely used the living room- except on Sunday mornings.
Our family gathered in the living room to read the 🗞papers every Sunday morning. There were three newspapers to devour on Sundays at our house: Joplin Globe, Kansas City Star, and Tulsa World. My dad read every page of all three! My brothers liked the 🎾⚾️sports articles. My mom enjoyed the 👗lifestyle sections. I loved the comics and photos of brides. As I got older, I started to read the news portions and editorials. Probably because I grew up reading newspapers, I enjoyed working on the 🗞newspaper staff in high school- even serving as the editor in my senior year. When I was in college, I’d hop in my car and drive to the nearest convenience store to buy the newspaper, spreading it out on the floor to read just as I had done so many times as a child.
The evening news was also a big deal in our house. While other kids watched Electric Company or Gilligan’s Island, I tuned into the 📺news. I knew who Walter Cronkite was from an early age. When my grandmother told me to turn on “her boyfriend,” I knew she meant Tom Brokaw. 😍I didn’t think it was weird to watch the news. I thought it was interesting.
Information has always been important to me. I think that’s why I love to read non-fiction rather than fiction. It’s probably why documentaries are high on my watch lists. Knowledge is power.💯 When I have questions about anything, I start searching for answers. I’m grateful I grew up in a household that discussed the news. As a result, I learned how to 🧐suss out facts from opinions. That’s more important now than ever before.
Back in my day,😂 we didn’t have the internet where anyone and everyone could post their ideas and call them facts. I didn’t know the personal thoughts of the broadcasters. Fair reporting meant accurate reporting.✅ All too often, we get opinions disguised as facts now.🙃 I’m not sure if the internet is the only place to put the blame, though. I think the 24-hour news cycle has a lot to do with it. When the news was only available at certain times, reports had to be concise. There wasn’t room for elaboration. Punch that clock and deliver the news!
When Cronkite signed off each night, he had this catchphrase: “And that’s the way it is.” He followed that up with the date of the broadcast.✔️ That was it. While I’m still a news junkie at heart, I miss those days of solid presentation. The days when I didn’t have to hear the leanings of the anchors- whether I agree or disagree with them. I just got the news. I guess that’s the way it was, my friends. That’s the way it was. But- what if…it could be again?💖