An open letter to the Millennial generation:
Until about a year ago, I had a vague understanding of how uninformed we as a society are. Once I started to pay attention to the news, I couldn’t stop. Part of my obsession was a thirst for knowledge about the world around me. What truly drove me to seek more news, though, was the low quality of reporting I was seeing. Page after page, article after article of partisan jabs, terrorism-hyping, political slander and a downright refusal to question those in power. I continued to find vile commentary and political punditry passed off as “news”, and by January I was fed up.
the Diurna was born out of my frustration with how difficult it was to find factual, informative news content, sans the rhetoric. My goal is to address a few problems with how this generation gets their news.
There are some who believe that news organizations should be completely unbiased and objective, and most claim to be. Here’s the thing: you can’t eradicate bias. Cannot be done. Everyone has their own set of values and principles and view the world a different way. We all have our preconceived notions and belief systems that can’t be entirely suppressed. The enemy isn’t bias; the enemy is biased reports being labeled as objective news information.
I’m not saying that objectivity isn’t possible, or that it doesn’t exist in news media at all. I read many writers who strive to question their own biases in the quest for objectivity. But that isn’t enough. I believe journalists and news outlets have a responsibility to their audience to identify their biases and agendas and let the People decide if their information is useful. That being said, I’m a freedom-loving, skeptical Libertarian. I think you should be able to do pretty much anything you’d like, provided you don’t harm anyone in the process. I have a serious disdain for well-established news media and want to see my generation think critically about the news, rather than being told what to think by pretty people on television. I want to challenge you to question everything in this age of new media, especially the Diurna. An independent news source isn’t free of bias or agenda simply because it’s a grassroots organization. Anyone can say anything online, which is fantastic, but this requires a level skepticism and critical thinking to block out the noise and extract the information you need. You can agree with my views, or, more importantly, disagree with my views, and still extract valuable information from the Diurna. I strive for objectivity in my writing, seeking to cover all angles. I would say that the Diurna‘s slant lies more in my selection of what to cover, which is why I’m always looking for contributors with different perspectives. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if the Diurna is a solid source of information.
II. Coverage Selection
With so much airtime and so many web pages to fill up, a good portion of content on any given platform is noise; nothing of value to news-seekers and distracting from the real stories. We see plenty of coverage focused on the private lives of celebrities and executives; salacious headlines about what will happen if blank doesn’t blank; and gossip offered as insight. The online profit model has blurred the line between news and entertainment in a dangerous way. Visit any popular news outlet and you’ll find some sort of trash laid up next to so-called news information. I refuse to cover stories that do not help your ability to make informed decisions in the political and economic spheres. I hold all content that appears on the Diurna to a high standard of relevance and accuracy. I hope you find it informative, and that you use it.
III. Scope of Presentation
In the age of the 60-second news cycle, we have more information than we know what to do with. Search for an update on the TPP negotiations and you’ll get millions of results, which is great for news junkies like myself who follow these stories vigorously. But what about the silent majority of Millennials who know little to nothing about these issues? You could read a dozen articles from the usual suspects about the TPP, for example, and learn nothing about what this ‘trade’ deal actually is. These complex stories have long timelines and many factors, and are rarely broken down into a digestible overview.
Enter the Need to Know. Complicated, multi-faceted news items broken down to the basics. A majority of what you see in mainstream content is noise; there to fill space. By explaining the core of the issue and giving you the facts of the case, the news is presented on need-to-know basis. You don’t need to read all the latest quotes from lawmakers and interested parties and you don’t need to know every point and detail – noise. What you need to know and nothing more.
I didn’t start the Diurna because I want people to think like I do, or to spread conspiracy theories about the government. I don’t spend every spare minute of my time pecking away on my laptop and scribbling on legal pads because I want to be the next Ted Turner or Roger Ailes. I do what I do because we, as a generation, deserve a pure news experience. We deserve a higher level of debate. You deserve more than the echo-chambers of partisan platforms and mindless repetitions of lies from politicians. What’s more is that if we don’t get a higher quality of news information, we’ll continue down the same tired path that our elected officials have condemned us to. Hate it or love it, dismiss it or admire it; the Diurna was founded on the purest of intentions, and I will continue to strive for excellence – because you deserve it.
founder & publishing editor