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Well, Spring is officially here! Flowers are starting to bloom, the sun is rising earlier, and the sun rays (when out) are getting comfortably warmer. We have had a rainy season the past few weeks here in Tennessee, and I’m sure looking forward to sunnier days for 2019.

With the rain keeping me inside reading and watching the news, I started thinking about my quarterly note for this season and I thought I would open the discussion on the role of the press today. Throughout our days, we receive the good, the bad, the ugly, and the urgent happenings of our country and of our world through the media. The press acts as the global form of communication to inform, criticize, and stimulate debate through the media and we get such information from news outlets such as Fox News, CNN, NBC, The Washington Post, or the New York Times.

As we are building our knowledge of the current happenings in our country and around our world, we often forget to remember that the main forms of media seem to take a political stance on the topics they chose to report on. Fox News takes a prominent conservative approach, whereas CNN, NBC, and the Washington Post take a prominent liberal approach. We seem to forget the background of these media outlets and as a result, our opinions and views on current day events tend to get skewed.

Lately, I feel that the press is becoming more and more partisan. We hear stories daily that have completely different sides and tell a completely different story. I feel that reporters are basing their stories more and more on their opinions, rather than reporting the facts that pertain to the situation.

Now I am not here to tell you which press outlets to follow and which ones are right vs. wrong…but I do wish to encourage all of us to be aware of the background of the media sites, what their political stance is, and how they form their opinions on topics. I encourage all of us to do our own research on the topic at hand, gather our own facts and form our own opinion on what is being discussed. Stray away from believing the first thing you see or hear and take the time to delve deeper into the conversation. Don’t be led by the press but instead be inspired to research and develop your own thoughts based on facts that you have researched and don’t be mislead by someone else’s views. I mean it’s completely ok to disagree or have a different opinion on a subject … but it is never ok to not be well informed on the subject.

We have conversations every day – at work, with family, friends, over meals. All I am really saying is knowledge is power and power is the ability to direct or influence. Having knowledge can give you great power to make great influences in the world. So my challenge to you is not to be that person who is influenced but that makes an influence on others with their knowledge. Feed yourself and others with knowledge.

In closing I challenge each of you as you gather at your dinner table to share more conversations and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Spend more time enjoying family time and meals with one another. Don’t get so caught up in life that you forget to live. In fact try turning off the news … tune out the media …lay the phone down… put a meal on the table … ring the ole dinner bell and tell the kids to “come and get it”. Share some time with friends, family and the Farmhouse where we always have hot apple Fritters waiting for you!

 

See ya Soon,

William B. Stokely, IV