The Biggest Threat To Press Freedom Is The Media Itself by Mark Hemmingway
When has the press gone too far? For most conservatives, decades ago. Media bias has existed for so long that it has become an unquestionable fact of life: liberals and Democrats can do and say what they please with friendly reporter omitting wrongs while amplifying the good while conservatives and Republicans will face intense scrutiny and outright calumny for everything.
Covington might be the straw to break the free-speech bubble's back. The lawyer of Nick Sandman (the boy who smiled awkwardly when confronted with an idiot banging a drum in his face) is on the rampage to take down the public figures and journalists who sought to destroy the kids with impunity--and who have yet to apologize. If he succeeds, this could set a new precedent for victims of journalists who have claimed first amendment privileges when venting their prejudices.
Hemingway goes into more detail than this, discussing journalist culture, the echo chambers of Twitter, and the history of charging libel against journalists. A journalist himself, he's naturally apprehensive of a future where journalists stop touching controversy out of fear of being sued or facing professional consequences. Seeing that I and many other part-time writers face this kind of restraint when we express our views or tell our stories, I think this is a fair and important first step towards constructive dialogue.
An epidemic of loneliness by The Week
There has been a steady flow of these kinds of articles--similar to ones on technology addiction, obesity, and political polarization. This one stands out because it presents the problem more clearly than others, and because it connects this problem with the kind of political hysteria that has affected otherwise well-adjusted Americans. Frankly, I can't think of a time where conspiracy theories and baseless narratives have become so mainstream that people will actively lie to themselves and others to avoid reality. This used to be a thing kooks did, but now it seems most people are this way.
What I wish was mentioned is that so much of this is self-inflicted. People want friends, but they really don't. They pass on invitations, they keep conversations light, and they overindulge on the passive entertainment of their phones and computers. Relationships take work and patience, but this part is usually downplayed in favor of the immediate fun relationships are supposed to bring.
Let the Children Get Bored Again by Pamela Paul
A bit like the last article, this is another topic that will pop up periodically. Again, I like this one because it goes a little deeper than the others. Yes, boredom gives rise to creativity--I've seen that point made elsewhere--but this happens because of the consequence of self-discipline. Boredom causes a person discipline oneself and learn to reflect on things, which then leads to creative endeavors. When proctoring a state test, just staring at students bubble answer sheets for hours at a time, I come up with hundreds of writing ideas and logical puzzles. I honestly look forward to it, but I know others can't think of a worse way to spend their time.
Ironically--and this is the point I like most about this article, which is similar to one made by Thoreau in Walden--those who never learn to be bored are the most bored. As kids, they will dread school; as adults, they will dread work; as human beings, they will never be satisfied. If we can teach kids (and adults) to tolerate boredom, then there's no limit to their potential.