People Crave Good History and Good Journalism- Let's Collaborate

Monday, October 25, 2010

Today, it seems that everyone is too wrapped up in what is happening in the present and not paying enough attention to the history behind it. The History News Network calls this "what-happens-today-is-all-that-counts journalism."

The problem with this is that people don't know vital information about previous events that formed events happening now. The public is told routine historical facts in the news, but the press rarely provides them with insights to the deeper historical meaning underlying the news. There is a disconnect between history and the media.

"Though a select number of historians recently have become media stars, the fact remains that few are publicly quoted, and hardly any are given the public platform," shared the History News Network.

As their website puts it, "Who we are and how we react to events depends, to a great extent, on our past." This demonstrates how important it is to include the past when talking about events.

You can look on television channels and find endless documentaries, in history textbooks and history classes or anywhere on the internet to find history facts. History is everywhere, which shows that people want this information.

History is lacking, but vital, because as Eugene O'Neill, a character in Long Day's Journey into Night said, "The past is the present, and the future, too."

An article I read about the new editor of the History News Service, David Nord, informed me about what this service is doing to help the problem at hand.

The History News Service was founded in 1966 and aims to improve public discussion of current events by putting those events in historical context. They work to do so in three ways:

1. By providing "op-ed" (opposite-editorial) articles to the news media
2. By putting reporters and editors in contact with historians

3. By trying to improve links between the journalism and historical professions

They want to set journalists up with historians who can help them prepare news in a way that will include historical implications of the covered events. They want editors and reporters to understand historical concepts and know of the historical resources available.

On the opposite side, they want historians to work to fully understand the practice and values of professional journalists. The History News Service is made up of a group of writers and editors, not just members without media experience.
I think that the History News Services has a lot of great objectives and goals to help bridge the huge gap between the media and history. People obviously want good media and they obviously want good history.
People also want that facts. They want their journalism and reporters to be reliable. They want to know that they are getting all the facts and they want to know that the facts they're getting are true.
I expect to see even more work done in the near future from the History News Service and possbily other groups to collaborate the media and history.


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