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Growing a Community Conscious

SunhFor the past decade, news outlets across the land have doubled down on the old adage of "if it bleeds, it leads." In the era of Facebook, stories about crime became delectable clickbait, driving advertising revenue. Nevermind how it positioned a community on a global stage that could now read articles from anywhere in the world. And, nevermind the damage that was done to a community's image in the economic development space. Stories about crime equaled short-term revenue to the media highlighting it.

It's why media is so vilified today in community development discussions. Exemplified in the callous quote by the now disgraced CBS President Les Moonves ("it may not be good for America but it's damned good for CBS"), media has forfeited the long-term good for short-term profits.

So, it's refreshing to see a newspaper shift gears, as Southern Mississippi's Sun Herald did last month. No more will they play the clickbait game, instructing their reporters to ask questions such as, "do our readers really need to know this?"

As the Editor says, "what is good for us may not be what is good for South Mississippi. We need to re-evaluate."

Kudos, Mr. Kaplan. Here's hoping you initiate a trend in which local media serves the best interests of its community...and not just itself.

Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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