New York, Nu York: A News Jubilee

A 50th year has special meaning in the Jewish calendar. A 50th anniversary is designated a Golden anniversary in the secular world. It is a half century. And however you look at it, a 50th anniversary has special connotations.
"50 Years of News" is being celebrated by WCBS 880AM, the radio world's most respected all-news radio outlet in the United States. There is a whole network now of these CBS news radio stations, but the one originating from New York City is the first and best known. (It is one of two that has the network's call letters in its name; the other is KCBS in California.) I have grown up listening to WCBS 880 and it really has been a partner of my life. My parents would listen to 880 at home, in our car, and on portable radios. And thus I have as well. Their news, traffic and weather updates have helped me navigate through my days, years and decades. The voices of the anchors and reporters have become so familiar to me. In many ways, I would credit WCBS 880 for spurring my interests in current events, history, broadcasting, media history and more.
Add to that the fact that I attended (and now my two children attend) Edward R. Murrow High School; Mr. Murrow was one of the most important and revered, pioneering news men (on radio and on television) for CBS. At school we did learn about Murrow and his many contributions to journalism.
So I have grown up being aware of The News Media. Reporting and commentary on news are important to me. I know that this station has been of great importance to New York City and the greater New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region. Thus I have been following the podcasts, special reports and website material documenting the 50th anniversary of WCBS. Check it out yourself, at
But I also bring this up because there are politicians in the United States who harp on the mainstream media, complaining of "fake news" reporting. I do not think the media is above criticism. I know that news media can always be improved. WCBS 880AM could be better. But I would not deem WCBS 880AM and other traditional media outlets "fake news." To me this is disturbing, mendacious, devious. The United States, and any democracy, needs to have a vibrant news field. The citizens of any democracy rely on a tested, scrupulous and active news field. Mistakes are made at times, but by and large the news industry (print, televised, and more) is an integral part of our ongoing education and information. To mock it and demean it as "fake news" is absolutely vile, in my opinion.
We Jews have always prized and revered education. News reporting is a part of education. Studying how news is created, reported, delivered and analyzed is important, very important. I am writing this very blog post for a news outlet. We can grapple with our news outlets, but we should not ignore them. They are parts of our lives.
I wish WCBS 880AM a very happy anniversary and hope it continues for many more years.