Baking and breaking bread in the ‘War on Media’

It’s a silly mash-up, but one driven by serious impulses.

As a journalist by profession and vocation, I listen with dismay to how some demonize the monolithic ‘media’ with a carelessness that does a disservice to valid perspectives and gripes.

I’ve written before that journalists are servants of the people at our core, and listening, responding to, and engaging with the community is vital even if it sometimes takes great effort.

As an amateur bread baker, I like creating and providing food for others to enjoy. It can be a social act, both the baking process and the eating that follows. After college, I worked in a food co-op bakery to pay for gas in between reporting gigs — you could say the two things were entwined from the start.

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Deploying Machiavelli in the ‘War on Media’

Machiavelli at the NYT

As Niccolo Machiavelli wrote by candlelight about power and people, his bed chamber was spared endless push alerts of ultime notizie (breaking news.)

His estate outside Florence in 1520 remained unsullied by the eternal wails of pundits and sound bytes which seem to drive our modern conversations and musings.

Machiavelli had his own form of media and matter to consume to be sure, but I have to imagine The Prince may have had another chapter or two if Fox News or MSNBC followed the machinations of Renaissance politicking as thoroughly as our world now.

Even without those chapters, Machiavelli’s recognition of what it takes to find and keep power may teach us something amid heated skirmishes in the modern ‘War on Media.’

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