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Nothing funny about peace, love and understanding

In 1967, for no particular reason, I purchased a General Electric portable shortwave radio — even set up the external antenna on the roof of our home. My world changed listening to stories of events from sources around the world. England, Germany, France, Argentina, New Zealand, to name a few.

I listened carefully, finally realizing that the stories they were reporting were the same as those I watched or listened to from broadcast outlets in the United States. Same story, but a very different point of view. This was especially true of reports about the ongoing Vietnam conflict. Reports of the same story with very different outcomes and perspectives.

Which account of those stories of war were accurate? Who was right, wrong, winning, losing — in short, what was fact or fiction? What was a true account of a given event or just shaped for political objectives? And by 1968, the year that changed my perspective on life, humanity and the future — Johnson, MLK, RFK, the Chicago Democratic Convention (remember “The whole world is watching?”) — it was the beginning of upheaval in the world as I knew it.

In the following years, the cry for peace came throughout the world from all the news sources I was listening to, reading and watching. By 1969 I realized peace was not as the media portrayed it, nor was news. Peace was not Woodstock. Peace was not being non-confrontational. It took guts and work and compromise along the way. Peace was and is a painful process. And the media were not helping. While the Media influence, it doesnt make us be less tolerant. We are still responsible. The new world of social media allows individuals and organizations to hide behind a persona in a cowardly way and in doing so has also made us less tolerant and understanding of our differences.

We all have observed and experienced how news media have blended reporting with opinion, showing a lack of respect for the institution, the views of others and the public at large. This is true regardless of your political bent, and easily identified on the cable news channels.

As the legacy news leader in this valley, Rosebud Media is committed to foster peace.

That starts with reporting, both written and video, without bias and agenda. Our editorials and commentary allow for diverse and varied opinions.

As an important, trusted source in our community, peace starts with the personal commitment from me to make sure we aid in accepting our differences. That we allow all types of considered thought.

In the song written by Nick Lowe and made popular in the U.S. by Elvis Costello and The Attractions:

“What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding?” — nothing.

We can achieve it. It’s about trust, it’s about being strong, and it’s about harmony.

Next Saturday, Sept. 21, is the International Day of Peace.

Locally, we celebrate that day in Ashland at the Culture of Peace Conference. May I recommend that you attend.

Steven Saslow is the owner of Rosebud Media and publisher of the Mail Tribune.

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