Gov. Matt Bevin characterizes Kentucky journalists as “cicadas” who make a lot of noise but serve no real purpose. He says that if we want real news, we should follow social media.
I think a more fitting metaphor is the one Socrates uses to defend himself from charges of being a “doer of evil” “corrupting the youth” of Athens. In his Apology, Socrates calls himself a “gadfly,” who is obliged to prod and reproach corrupt leaders who may have misdeeds they wish to hide.
It’s alarming that a governor would encourage young people to get news from social media. The word “social” says it all. Facebook and Twitter are fine for communicating with friends; exchanging views; sharing pictures; and keeping up with sports teams, movie stars and musicians. Social media is not the place to rely on for news that journalists report accurately because — as gadflies or cicadas — they separate facts from “alternative facts,” dig through records and search for truth.
Perhaps when young folks grow old, they will appreciate the warm comfort of a morning with a newspaper, coffee and a little time to read and reflect.