Who's King of Media? Here are my top choices…

Media coverage of national and world events has become a wasteland, with talking and shouting heads spouting a great deal of hot air. That’s why it becomes important to recognize radio and television broadcasts that bring new and different perspectives to media consumers. So many people tell me they have no idea who is telling them the truth, and who is pulling their leg.

There is one television program that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Bill Moyers Journal represents many things to many people. To some, Moyers’ style is boring and his program doesn’t contain enough bells and whistles. To the right wing, he’s a clear and present danger, spouting socialist ideas on TV stations paid for with public money.

To me, Bill Moyers is an oasis in a media desert. His show airs here in New York and Friday and Sunday nights on the local PBS station. To anyone wanting serious journalism and commentary, he is must see tv. He took on the weighty issue of Pakistan in this week’s program. Historian Juan Cole and journalist Shahan Mufti made me look at the situation in the region in a whole new way.

Maybe that’s why conservatives fear him so much. It can’t be his style. He’s laid back, he doesn’t raise his voice the way so many TV personalities do. He also doesn’t give the impression that if you disagree with him or one of his guests there must be something wrong with you. If you haven’t watched Bill Moyers Journal in awhile, or maybe even never, check it out.

There is very little informed news on the radio these days. Like the cable TV trash talkers, radio is filled with speculators and dimwits masquerading as oracles. Then there’s Free Speech Radio News. It’s a half hour daily newscast aired mostly on non commercial stations across the country. Like Bill Moyers, FSRN tackles issues in a substantive way, giving voice to the voiceless on issues that the mainstream chooses to ignore.

There’s almost never an occasion when, after listening to an FSRN cast, I don’t think to myself, how come nobody else is covering that?

As is the case with Bill Moyers, you don’t have to agree with every conclusion or every voice you hear.

Yet the difference between FSRN and the mainstream is such that you feel your brain has been scrubbed by an eco-friendly cleanser when the half hour is up.

I write about these two programs because I’m constantly surprised how many people who follow news on cable either don’t know about them or don’t consume them regularly.

“Didn’t Bill Moyers retire? Free Speech Radio What?” So I decided to take this first day of the week to spread their gospel.

Have you listened or watched either lately? If not, what are you watching?

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