How Do You Get Your News?
Thoughts on What Counts for “News” Today and Sharing the Good!
by Jack Guarnieri, Jersey Jack Pinball & PinballSales.com
In the old days, I read the newspaper and watched TV at dinnertime to get my news. Journalists like Walter Cronkite (I know I’m dating myself) “simply” delivered the news after he gathered it, presenting it in an objective way. There was no way to know if he was left, right or center, and after he read the news, it was up to the viewer to form his own opinion. That was the journalistic standard we expected…and got.
Today, the news you watch or listen to might be delivered by an entertainer –– not a journalist –– who hasn’t verified anything they’re reading. A lot of these “news” outlets want to help form (or completely form) our opinions, seemingly on every matter.
The “news media” today, whatever that encompasses, is vast and broad. For example, do you consider FaceBook to be part of the news media? As a user of that social media platform, do your posts and reposts then become part of that media? How many of the posts are actually the oft-talked about “fake news?” Do you find that you spread more good or not-so-good news? While I haven’t blocked or deleted friends on Facebook, I have snoozed a few who always seem to get it wrong, reposting items that are obviously false or outdated.
I look at sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as entertainment, not news. If I want to get general facts about a story or news, I find I have to read several newspapers or magazines online in order to gather the details I need. The way things have evolved, though, I’ve grown more skeptical of everything I hear and read.
In my high school journalism class, Mr. Seligmann taught the “who, what, when, where, why and how” collection of facts, the first-hand details a journalist gathers to assemble a story. Nowhere in that mix is the word “opinion.” Today, I find it hard to believe many of these “stories” we hear and read, regardless of which side of the political spectrum you fall under. If you happen to watch Fox and then switch to CNN, you’ll find more times than not that they’re telling you the opposite of each other. (Of course, this is all my opinion, which I guess I’m entitled to since it’s my column. Ha ha.)
I can tell you that whatever you read in RePlay Magazine is not fake news! This is all the industry news that’s fit to print and probably more, including industry press releases and good hype for amusement products and services.
In fact, I so valued my RePlay magazines that I collected virtually every issue since 1975. I recently donated my entire collection to The Strong Museum for Play in Rochester, N.Y. There are over 500 magazines that can now be enjoyed by people for many years to come.
A real positive is that our industry is always full of news and people willing to share it. Al Kress always said the three methods of industry communication were tell-a-phone, tell-a-friend and tell-an-operator. There are many industry yentas (gossips or busybodies) who always seem to know what’s happening as it’s happening. (If you want to know anything, ask RePlay’s Ad Director Barry Zweben. He’s on the phone talking to people in the industry daily so he’s pretty in the know.)
Regardless of whether the “news” is from the left, right or center, there’s a lot I really don’t want to hear. Good news is what I want! People playing our games, being happy, smiling and posing for pictures? Now, that’s really good news! That’s the reason we do what we do: make games for people to enjoy and for the industry to make money selling and operating.
Sad news, like the untimely death of our dear industry friend Ralph Coppola, is hard to take. Every time I saw Ralph, he had a kind word for me and a smile. He wore that blue blazer and snappy tie and he looked like a billion bucks. He was the outsider who became Mr. Industry Insider. He never talked about himself and always did everything for everyone else. Ralph brought so much fun into people’s lives –– millions of people he never even met.
Think about the news you hear and do whatever you can to make the news you deliver good. It’s been said that bad news sells better than good news. But I’m not buying. I’d rather hear something positive. If it’s raining, remember that showers bring flowers…and that it could have always been snow (as it was for a lot of the country last month). Even that’s good news if you like to ski!
Jack Guarnieri started servicing electro-mechanical pinball machines in 1975 and has been involved in every phase of the amusement game business since then. He was an operator in NYC, then began a distributorship in 1999, PinballSales.com, selling coin-op to the consumer market. In January of 2011 he founded Jersey Jack Pinball (named after his RePlay Magazine pen name), which builds award-winning, full-featured, coin-op pinball machines. Email Jack at [email protected] jerseyjackpinball.com.