Leave the Zoos Alone (Even If Managers Change Stories)

I was dismayed by your attack on the Reid Park Zoo for housing elephants (Editorial, Dec. 29). Zoos across the nation are being attacked by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and their ilk for housing animals in zoos.

Elephants in many countries are endangered due to poaching. Children who visit zoos develop an appreciation for these animals and the wild members of their species. This is necessary to continue support among future generations for conservation programs. Even Jane Goodall is under attack by these animal-rights activists for her chimpanzee zoo. Leave the zoos alone.

Al Levinson

There's a Lot of Good Journalism Around Today

Ryn Gargulinski (Dec. 29) maintains that the dumbing of America is largely related to the quality of journalism that is spun in the mainstream media. In many ways, I agree.

However, the writer seems to ignore the fact that, amidst all the crap, there are plenty of opportunities to get "real" news for anyone who wants it. I say blame the consumer/citizen as much as the media.

The PBS NewsHour is on at 4 and 7 p.m. in Tucson. There, you can find in-depth news and analysis from experienced journalists and genuine experts on specific issues. NPR is similar, and it's on all day. Even traditional network news is decent—the first 12 minutes, anyway, before the ads kick in.

Go online, and you can choose to be informed by The New York Times, The Washington Post and newspapers from around the world. Even in Tucson, we get adequate coverage of local issues from the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Weekly. If you prefer a progressive perspective, Democracy Now! is on radio and TV.

In the 21st century, those who want to be genuinely informed and hear a variety of opinions can do that. Lazy people who get their news from one source or are sucked in to believing that stories about sports, celebrities, pop psychology and lurid crimes constitute real news get what they deserve.

Peter Bourque

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