We need a media that keeps us informed


Where would we be without the media? The media keeps us informed. The media forces us to think. We are constantly looking for information, and the media's task is to provide us with information. Even a biased media serves a purpose.

I will listen to Rush Limbaugh on occasion. I do not agree with Rush Limbaugh, but I will listen to what he has to say. I do not always agree with Chris Matthews, but I listen to him as well. As long as there is televised and braodcast media, they, or people like them will exist.

We are fortunate to have excellent media here in Rhode Island. We have outstanding newspaper, television, internet, and radio media. Of course there are disagreements and controversy. There should be. How can any worthwhile discussion take place without some disagreement ? Only in a dictatorship is there no discussion.

There is a danger of no discussion when the media becomes too close to one side or the other. There is a danger of no discussion when the media reports inaccurately or deceptively. There is danger of no discussion when the media is controlled by the local government. Nowadays, there is a danger of no discussion when valuable information is never made public, intentionally or not. Or, information is uncovered much later than it should be.

Local news is, oftentimes, more valuable than state or national news. Facebook, Twitter, all of the internet media are nice to have. I prefer the newspaper in hard copy. I hope that newspapers exist for a very long time. Newspapers will always have a place, I believe.

China has little or no discussion. Russia has little or no discussion. If there is to be no discussion, only dictation, then we do not need any media. If there is no discussion, the media, the Fourth Estate, has failed.

—By Charlie Tsonos


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.