April 4th Hug A Newsman Day

Boy, if someone needs a hug these days it’s the news reporters. For the most part a good reporter is a very hard working person. Some have allowed their personal views to influence their reports but most still try to just report. It’s a tough job, rarely at home, unable to maintain relationships, often in dangerous places… it’s rewarding but taxing. The biggest issues seem to come when they feel they are bigger than the story they are reporting. Then it does become a problem. So give them a hug and remind them they are human, no better and no worse than the rest of us.

How to celebrate – If you know a reporter, hug them. Support those on social media that are actually doing their jobs. Find a reporter you know you can trust.

May 3rd World Press Freedom Day

Freedom of the press has been long fought for and in most countries, fairly won. For centuries the only news that got out to the people was whatever the controlling government of that country wanted the people to hear. It rarely was true, when it was it was one sided and often omitted many of the facts.

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After World War 2 many countries allowed their press to begin to right a lot of those wrongs. Newspapers, radio and television could report what was going on and why it was happening. Naturally there are always two sides to a story, but for the most part, the reporters tried to tell the truth. On May 3rd, 1993 the UN General Assembly created today to honor the freedom of the press.

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The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom prize honors those reporters who struggled to report the truth, often giving their lives in their efforts. That is why a lot of the press today should be ashamed of the way they report. The term reporter means to reveal a story, the facts, not as they assume them to be but only after they have investigated their sources and exposed the truth. It is not to speculate or give an opinion, it is all about the facts.

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It seems with the invention of the 24 hour news television networks the idea of reporting news became more competitive and often these same reporters had to create stories rather than report on them. Like so much of what is going on today in the world, it is about what someone thinks than what someone knows.

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It would be nice to know that we could trust what we hear. Most local radio and television stations do report the truth, it’s the national ones you have to be careful of. Their motto seems to have changed from reporting the news to making the news.

How to celebrate – Honor the true reporters of the world. Start a career in journalism. Compare the old newspapers to the new ones.

April 18th National Columnists Day

This is National Columnists Day. It’s all about those people who write columns in newspapers, magazines and other publications.

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Believe it or not, sometimes it can be a dangerous job. April 18th was picked by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists in 1977 to honor reporter Ernie Pyle, who died on April 18th, 1945 while on the front lines in World War 2.  He was loved by the troops, the Generals and the American public.  His reports were not given from what he had heard someone else say but what he had seen for himself.

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How to celebrate – Honor those columnists that you know put their lives on the line to report from the frontlines. Read a newspaper! (a lost art these days!) Check out the reporters that have been honored for their work for years.

April 18th Newspaper Columnist Day

On April 18th, 1977, the National Society of Newspaper Columnist created “Newspaper Columnist Day” in honor of Ernie Pyle, a front line journalist who lost his life on Okinawa during World War 2.  He was literally on the front lines, looking up over a ridge when he was shot and killed.

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While the holiday is unofficial, it is recognized by those in the industry as a day to honor themselves for all they do, they would like your admiration as well.  Their credo is to Inform People, Create Public Opinion, Keep those in power accountable to the people and to Bring light to stories that might not otherwise be told.

For as long as their have been newspapers, their have been columnist.  Frank Leslie put reporters in the field during the civil war to report on what they saw.  The oldest newspaper  in the world is the Ordinary Post Tijdender in Sweden which has been in operation since 1645. I wonder how many columnist they have gone through!?!

Believe them or not, they are the ones (hopefully) on the frontlines finding out for those of us sitting at home, what is going on in the world.  They are due that respect, so long as they keep their personal opinions out of the subject, they deserve.  Their job is to report the news and let us decide, not tell us how we are supposed to think.

Here’s a list of those they admire the most themselves.  You can decide whether they should be on the list or not (Cause I’m not gonna tell you!).  Walter Winchell, Mike Royko, Art Buchwald, Irv Kupcinet, William Safire, Art Rooney, Carl Bernstein, Ed Bradley, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, William F. Buckley Jr., Walter Cronkite, Ernest Hemingway, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Charles Kuralt, Bill Moyer, Edward R. Murrow, Dan Rather, John Steinbeck, Gloria Steinem, Dorothy Thompson, Barbara Walters and Bob Woodward.

How to celebrate:  Read a newspaper (If you can actually find one in print anymore), listen to those reporters you usual listen to and try to decide if they are reporting the news or telling you what to think, try sending the reporter what you think, see if they report that!