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When Yana Berlin in her non-stop efforts to improve and simplify our great community, Fabulously 40, asked me to continue my column under the mantra of 'expert', I hesitated. I considered her bestowing such a title on me as a somewhat unearned honor. With a column genre of Politics and Current Events which is often nothing but observation and conjecture, I wondered if there is such a thing as an expert other than in the fields of political science, history or journalism. I'm surely not an expert political scientist or historian, but I've been blessed to have countless thousands of my writings published, including three books, hundreds of poems and articles, editorials and workshops for Writers Conferences. I'd surmise that makes me somewhat of an expert in the art of expressing myself. I have garnered a few awards but also have had some not-so-well-accepted theories when my philosophies turn out to be out of sync with the mainstream, which they frequently are. But after some pondering on the idea and finding it a challenge to live up to Yana's confidence in me, I can only promise you, the community, my best efforts.

The profession of true journalist is rare these days. Some of the best out there write mostly for printed publications such as Time or Newsweek or topic-specific editions. Many spend their time filming documentaries on site of the world’s trouble spots.  The upstarts tend to lean toward blogging for gathering their experience.  Blogs like the Huffington Post and The Nation are beginning to hold the same number of credentials and readers that used to belong to the big daily newspapers. Which, too, have resorted to being read "online". The problem with that tac is they often learn only how to play the games. The three major networks still have their anchors but they don't hold the trust of the people or have the sense of permanence held by Huntley, Brinkley, a Walter Cronkite or Tom Brokaw who literally became the voices of news in American TV.

Enter Cable News and the 24-7 broadcast of so-called up-to-the-minute 'news'. Now, instead of journalists we have what has come to be known as pundits or annalists. What they really are, are players in a media ratings circus. And, I do mean circus. These days what we are spoon-fed hour after hour is not much more than sensationalism. I've endured them all in my efforts to remain impartial in my rants and have found them all to be biased to one view point or another. I strongly urge those interested in real journalism to depend on PBS and such journalists as Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, Bill Moyers and their most capable staffs. I have also found C-Span invaluable to those who want all the information so that they can in turn ponder on it themselves for an informed decision. These type of comments will sound very familiar to those of you who've followed my ramblings for the last two years or so. In addition, I strongly urge the use of the numerous meritorious sites for conducting research and fact checking.

Unlike the 'real' experts you will find present on Yana's staff, I'd like to be thought of as a writer who loves to discuss and learn new ideas. A writer depends on new ideas and 'you' are my experts on national thoughts. I urge comments and debate and suggestions for future discussions and ask only that civility be maintained at all times regardless the emotion in an idea or policy. You may end up in a book or an article of mine, names withheld without proper permission given.  

I look forward to a new platform here at Fabulously 40 and hope to see old friends and meet new ones.

Susan Haley, Author/ Editor

          

 **Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, contract copy editor, and book reviewer for AME Marketing. She is a columnist for The Florida Writer the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, and serves as Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. She is a frequent contributor to the Fox and Quill and the Infinite Writer e-zines and the political columnist for Fabulously 40 and Beyond out of San Diego.  

The audio version of her novel Rainy Day People was awarded in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various newsletters and local papers, and is Founder and Designer of a Spiritual website dedicated to Nature. www.sucarha.com Her third book, Amber Returns to Maine and Other Songs of the Soul was released in March 2010. All are available on Amazon.com.

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