Hoping for a Post-Pundit, Post-Polarized News Source

I discussed with college students the other day where they received their news. Some said they got their news from Saturday Night Live, others from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, others from discussions with their parents (who get their news from FOXNews or CNN). When a major news story breaks, they either go to the internet (cnn.com or news.yahoo.com) or tune in to FoxNews or CNN.

I asked if they ever read a newspaper or a newsmagazine. Not one of them did.
I asked adults in my church where they got their news, and most said either FOXNews or CNN. Did they read newspapers or newsmagazines? Few read newspapers on occasion, but hardly any read "Time" or "Newsweek" or another print news source.

When I was growing up, news was on every evening at 6:30, and only from CBS, ABC, and NBC. The three news anchors competed for the viewers’ trust by attempting to be the most accurate and credible. Commentary was in written form in serious news magazines like “Time,” “Newsweek,” and “US News and World Report.”

Now the news is read by big-chested beauty queens on the cable news channels. Commentary is offered on these same cable news channels by partisan pundits with axes to grind.

On FoxNews, ultra-conservative Glenn Beck vilified those that had a different political view from his. On MSNBC, ultra-liberal Keith Olbermann did the same. Thankfully, both shows have been canceled.

Too often I hear Christians taking on the persona of their favorite cable news channel pundit: arrogantly stating a position from presumed authority, refusing to hear the other side of the debate.

Christians should rather take the high road of civility, authentically articulating a view on political and social issues while at the same time being willing to listen to other views.

One of the greatest prophetic gifts the American church can give our culture in the 21st Century is a new way of engaging the issues. A humility that goes beyond the current television vitriol will, I believe, be a witness to the grace of Jesus Christ.

And perhaps, just perhaps, we can influence the culture in such a way that fresh news sources will spring up, a post-pundit, post-polarized way of interacting with one another.

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